The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Andhra Pradesh CID on Monday started investigation into the derailment of the Hirakhand Express. Nearly 41 people lost their lives while over 53 were hospitalised in the accident that took place near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh late on Saturday night.
A five-member NIA team reached Kuneru station at 11 am. They examined the accident spot and talked with the gateman, train guard, station master, track patrolling workers and workforces who were on the duty on that particular day.
The squad is also looking into a terror angle, especially after claims that the Indore-Patna and Kanpur train accidents were executed by Pakistan’s ISI.
While the NIA is quiet about the probe, the Railways suspect huge damage. Agreeing the sabotage, the driver said he heard a loud sound before facing a big jolt. The state CID is looking into the connection of Maoists, but the Odisha Police has denied any such likelihood.
The CID officials, additional director general Dwaraka Tirumala Rao and inspector general of Police Amit Garg examined the spot on Monday. “We have collected evidence. Five teams are formed to probe all angles. We are not ruling out the sabotage angle,” Rao said.
Maoists hand is being suspected as they had blasted the Kuneru railway station a decade ago. They also have damaged the station’s signaling equipment many times. However, the Railways suspect that the accident was triggered owing to a rail fracture.