CBI launches probe into Shanti Express coach burning

Ahmedabad (ADI): Eleven years after a coach of Shanti Express caught fire at Gandhinagar railway station on November 1, 2004, the CBI in Delhi has launched an investigation into the incident.

CBI sources said they have submitted a FIR in the special CBI court in Ahmedabad last week with regard to the incident.

The burning of the coach had become a major issue. There is a conspiracy theory behind the burning of S6 coach of Sabarmati Express at Godhra in 2002 that which had drawn parallels with the Shanti Express burning. Even Justice (Retd) U.C.Banerjee Committee set up by the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to probe the Godhra incident had visited Gandhinagar to have a look at the burnt coach of Shanti Express.

An offence was registered with the Railway Police in 2004. Significantly, at that time the forensic report had ruled out sabotage and opined that the Gandhinagar fire was an accident possibly caused either by a cigarette or a bidi. However, CBI starting investigation into the matter after a gap of 11 years has raised many eye-brows.  Investigators have ruled out the opinion in the report who says that a cigarette or a bidi will not cause such a damage to a coach and there is a conspiracy behind it.

Highly place sources in the CBI said the investigation has already been launched and a team of CBI officials from Delhi will shortly visit Ahmedabad.