Eleven years have been passed since the Jnaneswari Express accident in which 148 passengers were killed in East Midnapore district of West Bengal, but Prashant Atta, a resident of Salkia in the Howrah district of West Bengal, is still missing. His family has not received any government help in these years and has given up hope of his return.
Now, after a scam related to the train accident came to light recently, Prashant’s family has demanded a separate Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter. They alleged that Atta had died in the accident and buried as Amritava Chowdhury, the person whose name appeared in the scam.
In the scam that came to light, a person identified as Amritava who was declared “dead” in the accident was found on Facebook under the name of ‘Saheb Chowdhury’. According to records, Amritava “died" in the Gyaneswari Express accident on May 26, 2010. However, his social media profile from 2019 showed that he was doing the business of the selling flats and shops in a multi-storey building in Manteswar, Burdwan. He was promoting the sales of properties using his Facebook profile.
In the scam, Amritava managed his sister to get a government job and his family was given monetary compensation by the state and the Centre.
Prashant was the order supplier of the railway. He was on his way to Maharashtra on May 26, 2010, on the Gyaneshwari Express. Some members of the family, including his brother-in-law, went to identify Prashant’s body after the train accident.
Prashant’s brother-in-law Kaishab Kayal said, “After the accident, we were shown bodies. We saw a body in which there were four rings in the finger of a hand. We identified it as Prashant’s body. But we were not given the body as we did not carry any documents to claim the body.”
“Later, RPF informed us that another family had taken away the body showing voter card and ration card. Since then we have not found his body. We are sure that Prashant’s body has been given to someone else,” he added.
Prashant’s wife Yuthika Devi said, “We know he will not return. But at least give us his death certificate. The one who really died, his family got nothing. However, the sister of the survivor got a job and compensation. I am sure my husband’s body was buried in the name of Amritava Chowdhury. We want a CBI probe.”
The same allegation has been made by Prashant Babu’s daughter Paulmi while demanding a separate CBI investigation into the matter.
The CBI is currently investigating the scam and interrogating Amritava’s family members. The CBI had produced Amritava and his father in a special CBI court in Kolkata. The court has directed the agency to submit a status report by July 2. It also allowed the agency for DNA testing.