Kolkata: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal police on Tuesday arrested a top leader of the People`s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), the Maoists linked organisation thought to be responsible for May 28 attack on the Gyaneshwari Express.
The CID picked up Samir Mahato, who was allegedly part of the core team of saboteurs who cut open pandrol clips from the rail tracks, leading to the derailment of the train near Jhargram in West Midnapore district.
Mahato would be now produced in Jhargram court later today.
Today’s arrest is the fifth arrest in the case. Those arrested were identified as Manoranjan Mahto, Bhonomali Mahato, Rakal Barik, and Rabindra Mahto.
At least 148 passengers were killed and over 200 were injured when 13 coaches of the Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Super Fast Express derailed and were hit by a speeding a speeding goods train, as a result of the sabotage.
Although Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee remained noncommittal about the role of the Maoists – she termed it as a political conspiracy- in the attack, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram minced no two words when he said “the needle of suspicion points to CPI-Maoists or a front organisation”, a view shared by the West Bengal police too.
However, later buckling under pressure from Mamata – after Trinamool’s stunning win in the civic body polls - the Centre has ordered a CBI probe into the disaster.
Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh said the ongoing investigation by the CID would continue till the notification from the Union Home Ministry was received.