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ATS probes terror angle in Diva rail sabotage

While the GRP has been questioning people in the case, the ATS has started its own parallel investigation to find if it was planned by any terrorist outfit

mumbai Updated: Jan 27, 2017 21:09 IST
Manish K Paathak
Paramilitary force personnel search part of the railway track on the eve of the country’s Republic Day celebrations in the Baramura hill range near Agartala on Wednesday.
Paramilitary force personnel search part of the railway track on the eve of the country’s Republic Day celebrations in the Baramura hill range near Agartala on Wednesday.(APF photo)

After a motorman of Madgaon-Dadar Jan Shatabdi Express spotted a seven-metre-long piece of railway track placed diagonally over a railway track and stopped the train near Diva station on Tuesday night, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), while suspecting involvement of a terror outfit, have launched an investigation into the incident. The Government Railway Police (GRP) too is probing the matter.

While the GRP has been questioning people in the case, the ATS has started its own parallel investigation to find if it was planned by any terrorist outfit or fringe elements associated with terrorist organisations.

A major disaster was averted around 10.40pm on January 24, two days before Republic Day due to the alertness of the motorman of the train, which was running on the CST-Kalyan fast line carrying around 700 passengers. He spotted the piece about few metres before Diva railway station and immediately alerted to the railway control authorities.

Anti-terrorism agencies have been roped in to probe the alleged role of ISI or any other terrorist organisation in the recent derailments that occurred in North India. Investigators are probing the terror angle particularly because they feel that it cannot be the handiwork of one person, as it would take more than one person to lift the 7-metre railway track that weighed 300kg. They are also looking into the careless attitude of railway authorities who failed to monitor the railway tracks properly despite it being a busy route. “The involvement of an organised group with an intention to execute a major disaster cannot be ruled out,” said an officer.

Deputy commissioner of police Samadhan Pawar (Central Railway) said, “We have been investigating the case from all angels including sabotage and few people have been picked up for questioning who took to take the same route every day that passed through the spot where the metal piece was found.”

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Mishap averted: Motorman spots metal piece on CST-Kalyan fast line