NIA begins probe into AP train derailment

NIA begins probe into AP train derailment

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Andhra Pradesh CID on Monday began a probe into the derailment of the Hirakhand Express, in which nearly 41 people lost their lives. 

More than 53 were hospitalised in the accident, which occurred near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late on Saturday night.

A five-member NIA team, which arrived at Kuneru station at 11 am, inspected the accident spot and interacted with the  gateman, train guard, station master, track patrolling personnel and workers who were on duty on Saturday.

The team is looking into a terror angle, particularly after claims that the Indore-Patna and Kanpur train accidents were carried out at the behest of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.

While the NIA is tight-lipped about the investigation, the Railways suspect sabotage as a goods train had passed on the same track just two hours before the accident.

The gangman had also cleared the track before the arrival of the Hirakhand Express.
Corroborating the sabotage angle, the loco driver said he heard a loud sound before experiencing a big jerk.

Maoist angle
The state CID is looking into the involvement of Maoists, but the Odisha Police have rejected this possibility.

The CID officials, including Additional Director General Dwaraka Tirumala Rao and Inspector General of Police Amit Garg, visited the site on Monday. “We have collected evidence. Five teams are formed to probe all angles. We are not ruling out the sabotage angle,” Rao told reporters.

The needle of suspicion points to the Maoists as they had blasted the Kuneru railway station a decade ago and have damaged the station’s signaling equipment several times.

The Railways, for its part, suspect that the accident was caused due to a rail fracture.
DH News Service

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