CBI Detains 3 Railway Employees in Connection with Balasore Train Accident
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken action against three railway employees in the Balasore train accident case. The individuals arrested are Arun Kumar Mahanta, a senior section engineer, Mohammad Amir Khan, a section engineer, and Pappu Kumar, a technician.
The CBI's intervention followed the submission of a report by the Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS) regarding the devastating train accident that occurred in Odisha. The incident involved a triple-train collision at Bahanaga Bazar station on June 2, resulting in the tragic loss of over 290 lives and nearly 1000 injured passengers.
The arrested railway employees, Arun Kumar Mahanta, Mohammad Amir Khan, and Pappu Kumar, have been charged under sections 304 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code for their alleged actions leading to the incident. However, the specific details of their involvement have not been disclosed.
The CBI has now added the more stringent sections related to culpable homicide and destruction of evidence to the case, following a month-long investigation. Notably, these sections were not initially included in the first information report (FIR) filed by the CBI, which was a re-registration of the case filed by the Odisha police.
The CRS report on the Balasore accident revealed multiple lapses and a faulty signaling system as contributing factors. Repair works conducted shortly before the accident were blamed for the collision between the Coromandel Express and a goods train on another track.
To avoid any influence or interference in the ongoing CBI investigation, the Railways chose not to make the CRS probe report on the Balasore triple train accident public.
These arrests come after Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that the "root cause" of the accident and the individuals responsible for the "criminal" act had been identified. Railway officials have also suggested the possibility of sabotage and tampering with the electronic interlocking system, which detects train presence, as potential causes of the accident.