Maoists hand suspected in train derailment: Mamata

Maoists hand suspected in train derailment: Mamata

Banerjee, who rushed to spot from Kolkata, said that a patrol engine had passed through the area, but the timing of the blast proved disastrous with a portion of the line being blown away.

Twenty people were killed and 104 injured when Maoists blasted tracks, derailing the Mumbai-bound Gyaneswari express.

Asked specifically if Maoists were responsible, she said that because of the bomb blast the apprehension was that they were behind it. "Let the rescue operations be over. After that we will get a report."

She condoled the loss of lives in the incident. "It is very unfortunate that so many innocent lives have been lost. We should not play games with innocent lives," she said.

She said that the next of kin of each of the dead would be paid Rs five lakh and injured Rs one lakh. The Railways would also provide employment to a member of families of each of those killed.

Asked about Railways running trains in Maoist-affected areas, she replied, "should we stop running trains? Railway is a lifeline. It has been made a soft target. It should not be disturbed. We have restricted the speed of trains running through Maoist areas at 45 kmph.

Railways has already ordered a high-powered probe in the incident, she said, adding that she would write a letter to the Union Home minister for a separate investigation.

The Railways was running trains in coordination with the state administration. "Law and order is a state subject. State government and Home Ministry should look into it.
Four medical teams were at the spot and rescue operations by the Railways and Army was in full swing, she said.

She claimed that personnel from all railway departments had reached the accident immediately afterwards.

"I left at 2:00 am after being informed," she said.

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