CBI has arrested an activist of the Maoist-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) from a village here in connection with the Jnaneswari Express derailment, police said today.
Hiralal Mahato was produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate's court today after his arrest yesterday.
Mahato is a resident of Rasua village near Sardiha,the site of the train derailment.
148 persons were killed when the Jnaneswari Express derailed on May 28.
The police had on June 4 seized a pickup van, claimed to have been used to ferry men who sabotaged the railway
tracks leading to the derailment.
The husband of the vehicle owner was arrested and remanded in police custody for 10 days. The van was registered
in the name of Chhabi Mahato, a former CPI(M) panchayat member of Sardiya. Her husband Khagen Mahato was arrested by CID
sleuths from Kharagpur town in West Midnapore district.
According to CID sources, Mahato had used the van to ferry the saboteurs to the railway tracks at around 10:00 pm
on May 27, hours before the disaster.
A mobile phone from which Mahato made a number of calls that night was also seized, they said.
The saboteurs, including PCPA members Bapi Mahato, Manik Mahato, Umakanta Mahato and some others had held a
meeting at a Shiva temple at Muramoni to firm up their plans, the sources said.