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Nine express trains bound for Chennai from south Tamil Nadu and several goods trains were delayed by at least two hours owing to a flash strike by loco pilots in Madurai division protesting the assault on a colleague, allegedly by a group of policemen.According to railway sources, a few policemen stormed into the running room and hit assistant loco pilot Sivakumar of Tiruchy at Melavittan, near Thoothukudi, late last evening.Earlier, Sivakumar had had an altercation with a policeman at the railway canteen after he tripped over the policeman while exiting the canteen.However, railway and police officials intervened and pacified the quarrelling men unaware that the altercation would escalate into a fight later.Moments after the assault, railway staff in Melavittan struck work.As news spread, the flash strike spread to Madurai division where loco pilots stopped the trains midway. About nine trains on the Madurai-Chennai route were halted at wayside stations. Chennai-bound... Read more...
Pandian express from Madurai was delayed for 50 minutes, while Chendoor express was delayed by one hour and 15 minutes. Passengers on board Muthu nagar express from Thoothukudi were the worst affected with the train halted midway for nearly three hours.Kanyakumari express, Podhigai express, Rameswaram express, Anantapuri express, Rockfort express and a Chennai-Madurai tri-weekly express were among other trains affected by the flash strike.Several annoyed passengers in trains halted at railway stations alighted and urged railway authorities to immediately instruct the loco pilots to operate the trains.The services resumed after the authorities assured appropriate action against the ‘errant’ cops.