CBI declares reward for tips on Bengal train sabotage accused


Kolkata : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday declared a reward of Rs.1 lakh each for anyone providing information about the three prime accused in the May 28 Gyaneshwari Express derailment case in West Bengal.

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CBI Additional Director General (Media and Communication) Harsh Bhal said the investigating agency would give the reward to anyone giving information about the absconding trio — Umakant Mahato of Banksole village, Manoj alias Bapi Mahato of Rasua village and Asit Mahato of Krishnanagar village in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district.

“Posters in this regard were released today and will be displayed at prominent places for seeking information about the absconding accused. These posters have been issued in English, Bengali and local (Santhali) languages,” said the CBI spokesperson.

The posters say the name of the person providing information leading to the arrest of the accused will not be disclosed.

Posters were also distributed from the office of the West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma.

Verma said: “The CBI has asked us to distribute the posters and also to put them up in various important locations in and outside the district.”

The CBI has also constituted a joint investigation team (JIT) to look into the derailment case.

“The JIT comprises three CBI officers, three officers of the state police, two officers of the Railway Protection Force, one officer of the Railway Board and two forensic experts. Keshav Kumar, inspector general of police and CBI joint director, is heading the team,” said Bhal.

The Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express derailed May 28 due to alleged Maoist sabotage and subsequently a freight train approaching from the opposite direction rammed into five derailed coaches, killing 148 persons.

Following the incident, the state police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) initiated an inquiry, but later handed over the case to the CBI June 10.

The central government engaged the federal investigative agency to conduct the probe following a demand from Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

While the CID nabbed two people — Khagen Mahato and Samir Mahato, the CBI has arrested one suspect, Hiralal Mahato for his alleged involvement in the case. But all the prime accused are still evading the arrest.