NIA asks Home Ministry to transfer Kanpur train tragedy case

NIA to probe recovery of IED near railway track in Bihar’s Ghosaran. Man claims knowledge of Republic Day plot to sabotage Indian Railways tracks

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) demanding that the case surrounding the Kanpur train tragedy be handed over to it for further probe.

The Delhi Police had earlier this month picked up two people from Bihar in connection with the train derailment, which took place in Kanpur on November 21 last year. The Bihar Police has claimed that derailment was planned and funded by anti-India elements based in Dubai.

So far, three have been arrested for planting a bomb on railway tracks in the state on October 1, 2016.

The Home Ministry had on Wednesday sent a two-member NIA team to Motihari for investigation into the Bihar Police’s claims that the derailment of Indore-Patna Express was carried out at by a Nepal gang that has links with Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.

The claims were reportedly based on disclosures by three arrested men.

Investigative agencies are also currently interrogating a man who claims to have been trained to sabotage railway tracks with the aim of causing train accidents on January 26.  A man who is currently being interrogated by several investigative agencies, claims to have knowledge of plans to sabotage railway tracks between Patna and Allahabad with the goal of causing train accidents. The informant, a resident of Jonpur in Uttar Pradesh, claims he was trained and promised money to carry out the sabotage.

WHAT THE INFORMANT HAS CLAIMED
  1. A man named Suresh, whose surname the informant does not know, trained the informant and his friends, Sujit and Shankar, in taking out keys and joints from railway tracks. This would cause the tracks to break and lead to accidents when trains passed over the sabotaged sections.
  2. Suresh was to pay the trio Rs 70,000 to 80,000 each for doing this work.
  3. Tempted by the offer of hard cash, the informant underwent the training in Varanasi where he says he met two men named Vinod and Santosh.
  4. Vinod and Santosh had carried out a similar operation of damaging the railway tracks near the Kanpur railway station for which Suresh had paid them 70,000 rupees. (Editor’s note: It’s not yet clear if this claim is related to the November 20 Patna derailment that claimed over 140 lives.)
  5. The informant ran away after two days of training and after realizing the dangerous extent of Suresh’s plans.

HOW THE INFORMANT’S CLAIMS CAME TO LIGHT

From Varanasi, the information came to Mumbai where he narrated his tale to the station master at the Dadar railway station. The official, the informant says, only made a note of the his claims and informed counterparts in Varanasi. It’s not known what happened of this communication.

The informant then went to Mumbai’s Kurla area in search of job. Once there, he informed a local BJP worker and railway passenger activist Subhash Gupta about Suresh’s plans. It was Gupta who took the informant to the Railway Protection Force. The RPF recorded the informant’s statement, following which several other agencies joined the probe.

“We have written to the home ministry seeking transfer of probe into the Ghorasahan incident. We will look into all claims made by the accused,” said NIA official in their annual briefing.

The Nepal police is also helping the Indian agencies in the probe as three more associates of the arrested trio have been nabbed there in a twin murder case.

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