The Gondwana Express bomb scare has taken an unlikely turn after the railway police arrested a man for allegedly planting the explosive to frame his sister and brother-in-law with whom he had a property dispute.
The accused, identified as 55-year-old Vineet Kumar, hails from Beldari Tola village in Bihar’s Gaya district. Kumar was staying in Jabalpur under the fake name ‘Praveen Awasthi’, the police said.
On January 11, some passengers had alerted the railway police about an abandoned bag lying under a seat inside the S-8 coach of the Gondwana Express. The train was stopped at the Sihora station, and the bomb safely defused.
"He (Kumar) told us that his brother-in-law and sister had usurped his entire property. To settle the score with them, he planted the bomb in a sleeper coach and also left some documents leading information to his brother-in-law so that the latter could be held guilty…," director general of government railway police, MS Gupta said, adding Kumar was arrested from Jabalpur on Friday.
On the basis of documents recovered from the coach, Gupta said, the police had first questioned Patna-resident Vijay Kumar, the brother-in-law of the accused, for clues.
Subsequently, the probe led investigators to Vineet Kumar. During interrogation, the accused told the GRP that he was booked for a fraud to the tune of Rs 48 lakh when he was posted as assistant engineer with the Bihar rural development authority in 2006-07. Kumar had escaped from Bihar after getting a bail, Gupta said, adding he then made Jabalpur his home.
Investigation revealed the accused had booked a seat from Jabalpur to Gwalior in the same coach (S-8), where the bomb was found, the police said.
Meanwhile, a constable was rewarded for showing presence of mind by dumping the bomb in a pond. "I was not aware about the intensity of the bomb. I was just thinking to save the people. When it was disposed, it came to forward that it was low intensity," constable Kamlesh Kumar said.