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CBI arrests one more in Gyaneshwari derailment case

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Last Updated: June 19, 2010, 12:10 IST

CBI arrests one more in Gyaneshwari derailment case

The arrested person, Bholanath Mahato, is reportedly a member of the Maoist-backed PCPA.

Kolkata: One more person has been arrested in the Howrah-Kurla Lomanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express train derailment case. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Bholanath Mahato, a member of the Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), in connection with train derailment case on Saturday.

Mahato is the fourth person arrest in the case. CBI has already announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to those who give information about the whereabouts of the three main accused in the case - Asit Mahato, Bapi Mahato and Umakant Mahato.

"CBI has declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh each for information leading to the arrest of three prominent accused - Umakant Mahato, resident of village Banksole, Manoj alias Bapi Mahato, resident of Rasua village and Asit Mahato, resident of Krishnanagar village," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said.

While Asit is the convenor of PCPA, Umakant and Bapi are senior members of the outfit, he said.

At least 148 people were killed and over 200 others injured when the Gyaneshwari Express derailed between Khemasoli and Sardiya stations near Jhargram, about 150 km from Kolkata on May 28.

Umakant and Bapi with the help of some disgruntled PCPA cadres had abducted a railway lineman Dayaram Mahato posted at Sardiha station from his house at about 9:30 PM on May 27 after threatening him and his family. The PCPA leaders warned Mahato that his entire family would be killed if he did not accompany them and carried out their orders.

The PCPA leaders then forced Mahato to open pandrol clips that fix the track to the sleepers, at around 1 AM on May 28 as they knew that GyaneshwariExpress would be passing the area in about 15-20 minutes. Mahato was chosen for the job as an experienced guy can remove the pandrol clips in just a few minutes where it would have taken almost an hour for inexperienced person to do the same.

Umakant along with a few PCPA members remained at the site with the lineman while Bapi went to Sardiha station and blocked a goods train. He let the goods train go after getting go ahead from fellow cadres from the accident site. The goods train ploughed into some bogies of the derailed Gyaneshwari Express which led to more people being killed and injured.

However, West Bengal police sources claimed that the attack was not planned the by Maoist top leadership and the PCPA local leaders planned it on their own. They said that there has been division within party ranks recently.
first published:June 19, 2010, 12:10 IST
last updated:June 19, 2010, 12:10 IST