Rajdhani mishap: Bihar Govt orders fresh probe | india | Hindustan Times
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Rajdhani mishap: Bihar Govt orders fresh probe

In a surprise move, Bihar government has decided to conduct a fresh probe into the 2002 Rajdhani Express mishap.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 18:07 IST

In a surprise move, Bihar government has decided to conduct a fresh probe into the 2002 Rajdhani Express mishap near Rafiganj by ordering recording of statements of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, whose party was in power then, and top state police officials for allegedly trying to "influence the course of investigation."

DIG (Magadh range) Arvind Kumar Pandey said that in his supervision report he had ordered recording of statements of Prasad, the then DGP RR Prasad and former SP of Aurangabad Sunil Kumar Jha for allegedly "trying to influence the course of investigation."

He said the move followed the revelation that the sabotage was done by the Maoist rebels under, "a conspiracy hatched during the erstwhile RJD regime to defame (the then Railway Minister) Nitish Kumar."

After a prolonged sparring over the tragedy between the Railways and the erstwhile RJD government which ended recently with the Railway Minister Lalu Prasad asserting that there was no lapse on the part of Railways leading to the disaster, the arrest of a Naxalite leader Sanjay Yadav from Khwaspur village in Naxal-hit Gaya district on February 6 has led to the conspiracy theory.

A fresh FIR has been lodged at Sone Nagar railway police station under Aurangabad district in connection with the accident on September 9, 2002, in which more than 100 persons were killed, and DIG (Railways) Ajay Kumar Verma has been asked to probe the case, official sources said.

Pandey indicated that the comments by Prasad and other top officials at that time had influenced the investigation earlier.