India

India train confiscated over compensation dispute

The confiscated train
Image caption More than 100 passengers were on board

Indian court officials confiscated a passenger train after the railway department failed to pay compensation to a farmer for acquiring his land.

The train had more than 100 passengers on board when the officials confiscated it at the Harihar station in southern Karnataka state on Monday.

The train was only released after railway officials gave an assurance that the compensation would be paid.

The railway acquired his land in 2006, but have still not paid him for it.

The farmer, AG Shivakumar, agreed to let the railway department acquire his one-acre plot of land for the express train line, after he was assured compensation of 3.6m rupees ($53,904; £44,067).

He approached a local court after the railways ignored several requests for payment.

The court in 2013, ordered the railway department to pay Mr Shivakumar his compensation along with interest. But after the railways did not heed the order for three years, the court ordered its officials to confiscate the train.

"The [railway] officials gave an undertaking to the court that the amount will be given in one week's time and the train was allowed to leave after about 100 minutes," KGS Patil, Mr Shivakumar's lawyer, told BBC Hindi.

Some passengers who were in the train were amused with the court's order.

"Initially, we thought the train had been stopped by some agitators. Much later when the train did not move, I realised that it was a court order that was being enforced. I was angry but I also found it funny," Sihi Kahi Chandru said.

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