CBI starts groundwork for West Bengal train crash probeJune 7th, 2010 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, June 7 (IANS) Even before getting the final nod from the West Bengal government for investigating into the Gyaneshwari Express tragedy, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started the groundwork for the probe, CBI sources said Monday.
For the last couple of days, federal investigators have been collecting information in West Midnapore district’s Jhargram, where some coaches of the train got derailed and a speeding goods train rammed into the derailed coaches May 28, leaving 148 people dead, sources said.
The CBI investigators have also been collecting details about the activities of Maoists and prime suspects Bapi Mahato and Umakanto Mahato, local leaders of the Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA).
The CBI officials are expecting the final nod from the state government by Tuesday to initiate the formal investigation.
Home Secretary Samar Ghosh said at the state secretariat that the government will wrap up the probe being conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of state police.
“We have got the terms of reference from the CBI. We will also hand over all findings related to the case to the CBI,” he said.
A special CBI team headed by a deputy inspector general (DIG)-rank officer is expected to arrive at Jhargram, about 155 km from Kolkata, Tuesday to lodge a formal first information report (FIR) after getting the sanction from the state government.
The team will also include members of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), sources said.
According to CBI sources in Delhi, after the agency got indications that the train tragedy probe was coming its way, directives were given to the special crime branch in Kolkata, who initiated the ground work.
Sleuths in Kolkata visited the local area and initiated informal talks with railway officials, sources in Delhi said.
The sleuths also contacted the CFSL personnel in West Bengal.
The focus of investigation will be Maoists and the PCAPA, though the sleuths will probe all other possible angles connected to the incident, the sources said.
The CBI is also expected to ask for probe details including documents and posters found at the spot from the CID which is currently investigating the matter. The special team is expected to visit the tragedy site between Sardiah and Khemasuli railways stations within this week.
Meanwhile, the CID which is currently probing into the incident claimed to have got vital leads into the case after it made the first arrest, that of a pick-up van driver Khagen Mahato. The van was used to ferry the alleged saboteurs to the spot.
Mahato was interrogated in the CID headquarters here and sleuths said they have got vital leads into the case. They have also sent teams to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh - states bordering West Bengal - to trace the accused.
“Mahato has given some names of activists of the PCAPA and its militant wing Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia involved in the crime. We have got information from him about the incident and his exact role,” Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh said.
The Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express from Howrah derailed around 1.30 a.m. with some of its coaches tumbling over adjoining tracks. Within minutes, a freight train rammed into the derailed coaches.
- Train sabotage key accused arrested (Second Lead) - Jun 20, 2010
- Second arrest in Gyaneshwari Express case - Jun 08, 2010
- One of prime accused in train sabotage arrested (Third Lead) - Jun 20, 2010
- Third arrest in Gyaneshwari train accident case (Second Lead) - Jun 15, 2010
- Gyaneshwari train derailment accused wants to confess - Jun 28, 2010
- Third arrest in Gyaneshwari train accident (Lead) - Jun 15, 2010
- Pro-Maoist activist held for role in murder cases - Aug 06, 2010
- One more arrested in Gyaneshwari Express derailment - Jun 19, 2010
- One of prime accused in train sabotage held in Jharkhand (Night Lead) - Jun 20, 2010
- One more arrested in Gyaneshwari train tragedy - Aug 01, 2010
- CBI takes train sabotage prime accused to West Bengal - Jun 21, 2010
- One more in CBI custody in Gyaneshwari case - Aug 31, 2010
- Two pro-Maoist activists arrested - Aug 08, 2010
- Gyaneshwari Express case handed over to CBI - Jun 10, 2010
- Pro-Maoist activist held in Gyaneshwari train sabotage case - Feb 21, 2011
Tags: cbi officials, cbi sources, cbi team, central bureau of investigation, cfsl, crash probe, crime branch, criminal investigation department, criminal investigation department cid, deputy inspector general, federal investigators, forensic science laboratory, goods train, jhargram, midnapore district, railway officials, state secretariat, train crash, train tragedy, west bengal government