No ISI in Kanpur Train Derailment: UP Top Cop Junks Blast Theory 

Bihar police recently claimed ISI was behind the derailment of a train in November 2016 that claimed 148 lives. 

3 min read
Rescue teams look for survivors after the Indore-Patna Express met with a mishap in Pukhrayan near Kanpur in November 2016. (Photo: AP)
Initially, we found no evidence of sabotage causing the train accident in Kanpur. Rather, there were complaints from several passengers that a lot of clattering was heard in a particular bogie. And these complaints were not attended to. In fact, the same bogie was the reason behind the derailment.  
Javed Ahmad, Uttar Pradesh DGP

The UP top cop’s statement made to The Quint seems to rubbish the recent alarming – and maybe even outlandish – claim by the Bihar police that the ISI was behind the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express near Kanpur in November 2016. The accident had left almost 150 dead. A senior official in the safety department of the railways that The Quint spoke to also trashed the Bihar cops’ theory.

Bihar police had declared that it has arrested three criminals who allegedly confessed to their role in planting a cooker bomb that caused the derailment.

UP DGP Ahmad also said that the sabotage theory is being probed. He added that the sabotage claim made by Bihar police needs to be corroborated with evidence.

Bihar Cops’ Shocking Claim on ISI Hand

Bihar police had recently arrested Motilal Paswan, Umashankar Patel and Mukesh Rai, who were allegedly hired through handlers based in Nepal and Dubai and linked to the ISI to plant bombs in public places and railway tracks.

The accused told investigators that they had planted a pressure cooker-based improvised explosive device near the railway track in Kanpur, which caused the derailment. 
Senior Bihar Police Officer 

Jitendra Rana, SP of Bihar’s East Champaran district, where the suspects were arrested, said that UP cops are now looking into the matter. “We have shared information on the Kanpur train accident with UP police and other investigating agencies. Now, they are probing the matter.”

In fact, a UP anti-terrorism squad (ATS) team has already reached Bihar to interrogate the arrested accused.

Top Railways Offical Too Trashes Sabotage Theory

Rescue officials on the spot where 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed. (Photo: PTI)
Rescue officials on the spot where 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express derailed. (Photo: PTI)

On November 21 last year, the Indore-Patna Express went off the tracks at Pukhrayan in UP. The accident killed 148 people and several others were injured.

Besides the UP DGP, a senior official in the safety department of the railways also junked the Bihar cops’ seemingly dodgy claim. The official told The Quint:

The prima facie cause of the Kanpur accident was a rail fracture, there has been no evidence of sabotage in the two months since it happened. This recent development (sabotage claim) seems like an effort by the BJP to use the central subject of terrorism, and to bring in central agencies like the NIA and the CBI to investigate the sabotage theory weeks before the elections in UP.

'BJP-Led Govt Playing Politics'

Generally, a preliminary report is submitted within 24 hours of a mishap by the senior-most official at the site of the accident based on the evidence. According to a retired railway safety officer, in case of a rail fracture, the train will fall on its side and this is exactly what happened in this accident. He too said that it could not have been an act of sabotage.

After the accident, the local police was informed. It came with dog squads to sniff out powder or any other bomb residue, as is the protocol. But nothing was found. It is surprising that senior railway officials missed this and if they did, it is a matter of concern.  
Kamlesh Gupta, Retired Additional Member (Safety), Railway Board

The UP top cop and senior railway officials are as of now clearly ruling out the sabotage theory. Nevertheless, UP police though is not ignoring the claims made by the trio arrested by the Bihar cops. Further investigation will reveal truth whether it was a derailment due to a rail fracture or an ISI-backed terror attack.

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