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Prabhu asks Rajnath for NIA probe into recent train accidents

IANS | New Delhi |

Concerned by recent cases of train derailments, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu wrote to Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking an NIA probe into the alleged possibilities of rail track sabotage by "outsiders", officials said on Wednesday.

According to a railway ministry official, Prabhu wrote to Singh on Tuesday requesting him to order a detailed probe by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the recent cases of train accidents.

A senior railway official requesting anonymity said, that Prabhu "listed six recent incidents hinting of possibility of the criminal interference by some outsiders".

The official further said, the Railway Minister also mentioned the recent Hirakhand Express which derailed near Kuneru station in Andhra Pradesh, in which at least 41 persons died and over 60 injured on January 22.

"The minister mentioned about the two goods train derailment earlier this month, instance of a cooker bomb at Ghorasahan station, detection of deep cuts on tracks near Kanpur on January 1 and the obstruction on tracks on a rail bridge between Sathajagat and Dalsinghsarai railway stations near Samastipur in Bihar," the official added.

In the last four months, three major train accidents occurred due to derailment.

On November 20, 2016, at least 149 people were killed and over 300 injured when 14 coaches of the Patna-Indore derailed near Pukhrayan, 50 km from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. 

In another incident, on December 28, at least two people were killed when the 15 coaches of the Sealdah-Ajmer express derailed near Rura station in Kanpur.