Bitta demands CBI inquiry into train disaster

Midnapore: All-India Anti-Terrorist Front chief M S Bitta today sought a CBI inquiry into the Jnaneswari Express disaster, claiming that the CID was incapable of handling the case and announced a cash reward for anyone who gave evidence against perpetrators of such incidents.

"The Central government should instruct CBI to take up the case and submit its report within a month," Bitta, told reporters here.

Claiming that the CID, which has been entrusted to investigate the derailment by the West Bengal government, was incapable of the task, Bitta said, "The state CID cannot succeed as the case is too big to be handled by it."

Bitta, who met the family members of those killed and injured said, "It is the responsibility of the state government to provide security to trains passing through its territory, but it has failed to do so."

He announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone who gave evidence against the perpetrators of train derailments.

"The families of the victims should be treated at par with soldiers who die on the battle front. The state government and the Centre should contribute Rs 15 lakh each and the Railways Rs 5 lakh," he said.

He suggested using the services of experienced police officers such as K P S Gill and Kiran Bedi be taken to handle Maoists.

Bitta said he would submit a report on the rail disaster to the Prime Minister, Railway Minister, and the Union Home and Law ministers.

The train derailment that took place in the wee hours Friday, suspected to be the handiwork of Maoists, claimed 148 lives and injured about 190 passengers.