Odisha train tragedy: On CBI probe, Congress recalls ‘chronology’ of Kanpur crash
The central government had asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the 2016 Kanpur train accident.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said the Railway Board's recommendation for a CBI probe into the Odisha train accident was “nothing but headline management” for having “failed to meet deadlines.” While the preliminary investigation by the railways identified a change in the electronic interlocking system as the cause of the horrific train crash that killed at least 275 people and injured many, the Board, according to a senior official, has recommended a CBI probe to look into all possible reasons, including human error and sabotage.
Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in charge of communications, questioned the need for a CBI inquiry when the Commissioner of Railway Safety is yet to submit the report on the train disaster.
“This is nothing but headlines management having failed to meet deadlines,” Ramesh said in a tweet.
Kanpur train accident
Jairam Ramesh also listed the timeline of a probe into the Kanpur train accident in which at least 150 people lost their lives, saying “aap ye chronology yaad kijiye (please recall this chronology)”. The Congress leader said that then railway minister Suresh Prabhu had written to the Union home minister requesting a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the November 2016 train accident.
He then pointed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's February 2017 statement in which he said conspirators from “across the border” were responsible for a train derailment. Modi's remarks followed the arrest of four men in Nepal and Bihar who had allegedly told police that the Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was behind the Kanpur accident.
The NIA, however, later said it will not file any chargesheet in the derailment case.
“June 6, 2023: Still no OFFICIAL news on NIA final report on Kanpur derailment. Zero accountability!” Ramesh wrote on Twitter.
A political slugfest has started over the Balasore train accident, with the Bengal BJP leader alleging conspiracy behind the incident. Leader of the Opposition in the Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari even claimed that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) was behind the tragedy.