The CBI on Sunday arrested the alleged mastermind behind the derailing of the Mumbai-Howrah Jnaneshwari Express near Jhargram in West Bengal on May 28 that left 148 passengers dead, and wounded another 200.
Bapi Mahato (23), one of the three prime suspects in the case, was found in a guest house in neighbouring Jharkhand’s Seraikela-Kharswan district, 150 km from Ranchi.
He had been staying there since Thursday under the pseudonym of Vimal Mahato police sources said. He is being kept at an undisclosed location.
“Bapi was involved in many cases of sabotage and crime. He is a big catch,” said Manoj Verma, superintendent of police of the Maoist-stronghold West Midnapore district in West Bengal, where the crash occurred.
Police sources told Hindustan Times the breakthrough came while tracking the mobile phone number of Bapi’s Jharkhand-based brother-in-law Bimal Mahato.
“We were monitoring Bimal’s number. Bapi often called Bimal to get the latest because he was scared to leave the guest-house,” a Jhargram police officer said on the condition of anonymity.
Mahato is a member of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, closely linked to the Maoists and is alleged to have directed the removal
the pandrol clips (used to fix the rail to the sleeper chair) from a long stretch of track near Jhargram station which caused the derailment.