Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the Communist Party of India-Maoist was being suspected for the sabotage that caused the train accident in Jhargram in West Bengal on Friday in which at least 150 passengers were killed.
"The needle of suspicion points to the CPI-Maoist or its front organisation. The identity of the culprits can be established only after the investigation is over," Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi.
The home minister's remark is contrary to what Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged - that her political rivals had conspired to cause the accident ahead of Sunday's civic polls in West Bengal.
The Trinamool Congress chief has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the "political conspiracy" behind the accident.
Chidambaram said the railway ministry had sought a CBI probe and the home ministry was awaiting a response from the state government over it.
"The ministry of railways has suggested a CBI inquiry. We have asked the West Bengal government's views. We have not received their views," the home minister said.
The home minister also contradicted Banerjee, who had said that explosives were used to damage the railway track that led to derailment of the Mumbai-bound Jnaneshwari Express early on Friday. The engine and 13 coaches of the train derailed. Five coaches rolled on to a parallel track and were hit by a freight train in the Maoist stronghold in West Midnapore district.
"There is no trace of explosives," Chidambaram said.