Kolkata: The West Bengal government,
which had initially declined Railway Minister Mamata
Banerjee`s demand for a CBI inquiry into the May 28 Jnaneswari
Express disaster, has decided to entrust the investigations to
the premier agency.
"We have received the terms of reference for the CBI
investigation. The probe will be handed over to the CBI,"
Home Secretary Samar Ghosh told newsmen.
A meeting between state administration representatives
and CBI officials has been scheduled on June 11 to discuss the
details of the investigations.
Noting that the government would issue the statutory
notification for the CBI investigation in a day or two, DGP
Bhupinder Singh said the ongoing probe by the CID would be
discontinued following the CBI investigation.
He said that PCPA member Khagen Mahato, who was
arrested by the CID in connection with the disaster that
claimed 148 lives, would be handed over to the CBI once it
takes up investigations.
The West Bengal government, which had held the Maoists
responsible for the mishap had earlier ruled out a CBI inquiry
as demanded by Banerjee, saying it was not necessary as the
CID probe had progressed a great deal.
Banerjee had claimed that a `political conspiracy` was
behind the mishap.
The Centre announced a CBI inquiry on June 2, the day
when Trinamool Congress won a landslide victory in the
municipal elections in West Bengal.
The decision was taken as the incident had taken
place on railway property and in such cases the concurrence of
the state government was not required, it was said.