Jhargram/Kolkata: The police seized a pickup
van, claimed to have been used to ferry men who sabotaged the
railway tracks leading to the Jnaneswari Express derailment.
The husband of the vehicle owner was arrested and remanded
in police custody for 10 days, CID sources said today.
The van was registered in the name of Chhabi Mahato, a
former CPI(M) panchayat member of Sardiya, they said adding
that her husband Khagen Mahato was arrested by CID sleuths
from Kharagpur town in West Midnapore district last night.
The sources said Mahato had used the van to ferry the
saboteurs to the railway tracks at around 10:00 pm on May 27,
hours before the disaster which left 148 dead.
A mobile phone from which Mahato made a number of calls
that night was also seized, they said.
The saboteurs, including PCPA members Bapi Mahato, Manik
Mahato, Umakanta Mahato and some others had held a meeting at
a Shiva temple at Muramoni to firm up their plans, the sources
Khagen Mahato was produced before the Additional Chief
Judicial Magistrate Sheik Mohammed Reza today who remanded him
to police custody for ten days, turning down the CID`s plea
for 14 days.
Mahato was charged under sections 302 (murder), 307
(attempted murder) and 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt
by dangerous weapons).
The CID has been entrusted by the West Bengal government
to investigate the train disaster.
West Bengal Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters in
Kolkata today that though the state government has received a
notification from the Centre on the CBI probe into the
incident, it did not get the terms of reference.
He said the CID investigation would continue till the
terms of reference were received.
The Centre had on June 2 ordered a CBI inquiry which was
demanded by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee who alleged a
political conspiracy behind the incident.