A day after the CBI took over the probe into the Jnaneswari Express accident in which 148 people were killed on May 27, the West Bengal Police’s Criminal Investigation Department arrested a 30-year-old in connection with the suspected sabotage on Tuesday.
Samir Mahato, who the police said was a Maoist sympathiser, was produced in the Jhargram sub-divisional court in West Midnapore district and remanded to policy custody for 10 days.
Mahato was arrested in Jhargram, 120 km west of Kolkata.
The police said they got a clue about Mahato’s whereabouts after interrogating another Maoist sympathiser, Khagen Mahato, who was arrested earlier. Khagen was the owner of a pick-up van that was used to transport men and materials to tamper with the tracks that led to the accident, the police said.
Samir has been charged with murder, attempt to murder and conspiracy but the police have not disclosed what role he is suspected to have played.
His lawyer Kaushik Sinha, however, said, “My client is innocent. The police nabbed him on June 1. Over the last seven days, Samir has been physically and mentally tortured by the police.”
Rebels kill 2 comrades
In continuing violence in Bengal, four persons were killed by suspected rebels in West Midnapore district on Tuesday.
The bullet-ridden bodies of two of the victims were recovered from Ghang village, 150 km west of Kolkata.
The police also recovered some posters bearing the name of the CPI(Maoists). The posters claimed that the two were police moles in the Maoists’ resistance committee. The victims are yet to be identified. Police suspect Maoists had abducted them before killing them and leaving their bodies at Ghang village.
Suspected rebels also killed two CPI(M) activists in the district.
In Kolkata DGP Bhupinder Singh virtually admitted the administration’s helplessness in protecting people from Maoist violence. “People have to revolt against the Maoist mayhem in the jungle areas of the three districts of Bankura, Purulia
and West Midnapore,” he said. “You cannot provide security to each village. If the villagers are united, then Maoists will find it difficult to carry on their terror activities,” Singh said.