Kolkata: The CBI on Thursday named three activists of Maoist-backed PCPA as key accused in connection with Jnaneshwari Express derailment that left 148 people dead and announced a reward of Rs one lakh each for information leading to their arrest.
"CBI has declared a reward of Rs one lakh each for information leading to the arrest of three prominent accused - Umakant Mahto, resident of village Banksole, Manoj alias Bapi Mahto, resident of Rasua village and Asit Mahto, resident of Krishnanagar village," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said.
While Asit is the convenor of People`s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), allegedly supported by Maoists, Umakant and Bapi too are senior activists of the outfit, he said, adding a manhunt has been launched for them.
Bhal said posters in English, Bengali and Alchiki (local language) giving their details were released on Thursday and they will be displayed at prominent places for seeking information about the absconding accused.
Bhal said the CBI has constituted a joint investigation team to investigate the incident involving the Howrah-Kurla Jyaneshwari Express on May 28 in West Midnapore in West Bengal.
He said the investigation involves close coordination and cooperation between several organisations, agencies and individuals. The JIT comprises officials from CBI, the state police, Railway Protection Force, Railway Board and forensic experts, Bhal said.
The CBI had earlier arrested PCPA leader Hiralal Mahato in the case.