New Delhi: The Central government ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the 28 May West Bengal train derailment, conceding railway minister Mamata Banerjee’s demand.
“The CBI will be jointly probing the train accident with the railway police” and the West Bengal police, a senior government official said, adding that a formal notification will be issued on Thursday. “The West Bengal government has been informed about the development and they have given their consent.”
On Tuesday, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told home minister P. Chidambaram that there was no need for a CBI inquiry into the train accident as the state police had almost completed investigations. The state government and the home ministry have blamed Maoists for the sabotage that led to the accident. Chidambaram said the Howrah-Kurla train was derailed by the removal of fish plates and the removal of a portion of the track, killing 147 people and injuring 150.
After the accident, Banerjee demanded a CBI probe saying, “I don’t know who has done the heinous crime. But whoever has done it, it’s a political conspiracy. I have requested the Union home ministry to conduct a probe.”
The consent of the West Bengal government was not required as the accident took place on railway land.