NIA Chargesheet in Rail Accidents points to Pakistan’s ISI role – a plot bigger than expected on cards

The NIA has blamed ISI for roping in a Nepalese citizen to arrange for men to plant pressure cooker bombs on rail tracks to blow up passenger trains.

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed the first chargesheet in cases of alleged conspiracy behind rail accidents before a Patna court. Nine people, including two Nepalese citizens, have been charged with conspiracy to blow up rail tracks and a train near Bihar’s Ghorasahan railway station in October 2016.

The NIA is also investigating railway accidents near Kanpur and Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh last year that killed over 180 people. One of the accused in Bihar conspiracy had also owned up the Kanpur accident. His claim has not been corroborated with evidence yet.

The NIA has blamed ISI for roping in a Nepalese citizen to arrange for men to plant pressure cooker bombs on rail tracks to blow up passenger trains. The chargesheeted accused have been identified as Umashankar Patel, Gajendra Sharma, Rakesh Kumar Yadav, Ranjay Sah, Mukesh Yadav, Motilal Paswan and Arun Ram, Brij Kishore Giri and Samsul Hoda. Hoda, who along with Giri is from Nepal, has been identified as the main accused. He is alleged to have organised men in Bihar with Giri’s help to execute the attacks on ISI agent Mohammed Shafi Sheikh’s instructions.

NIA sources said that Hoda was in the business of providing manpower and had earlier worked in Malaysia. He later shifted to Dubai, where he came in touch with Sheikh. Hoda contacted Giri, who arranged for three Bihar men to allegedly execute the attack.

The chargesheet alleged that Hoda visited Pakistan in July 2016 along with Shafi. “The conspiracy hatched was to carry out IED explosions on railway tracks and bridges, to blow up passenger trains to cause loss to public life, disrupt essential lines of communication and to thereby cause threat to security and integrity of India.’’

The NIA said that six of the chargesheeted accused are in jail. Giri and Hoda are in custody in Nepal for their role in a murder. Ram was murdered in December. It was during the investigations into Ram’s murder that Bihar police stumbled upon the conspiracy and arrested two people, including Motilal Paswan who owned up the Kanpur accident.

Shafi Shaik by that time fled to Pakistan via. UAE and is expected to reside either in Karachi or Islamabad.

The chargesheet alleged that Hoda had transferred money into Giri’s account to allegedly recruit bomb-makers and planters and for arranging logistics. Giri allegedly recruited Sharma, Rakesh Yadav, Patel, Mukesh Yadav, Paswan, Sah and Ram to allegedly carry out terrorist acts.

The NIA alleged that the accused fabricated and planted another IED on a railway track near Adapur and Nakardei railway stations on December 3. An audio clip has been attached to the chargesheet. Giri is purportedly telling Patel in the clip that another group had been successful in its sabotage activity in Kanpur while he has failed to cause an accident despite placing bombs.

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