A two-member team of NIA has been dispatched to Bihar by the Home Ministry for investigation into the claims of three arrested persons that the derailment of Indore-Patna Express was carried out at the behest of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.
The Home Ministry has also sought reports from the Bihar government and central security agencies regarding the arrest of Moti Paswan, Uma Shankar and Mukesh Yadav and their disclosures to Bihar Police.
Official sources said the role of ISI will be probed by the NIA and find out whether there was a larger conspiracy involving ISI agents based in Nepal and Dubai.
Central intelligence agencies are now questioning the three accused.
If the claim of the three accused turns out to be true, it would be the first such case of train derailment in India carried out at the behest of the Pakistani agency, the sources said.
A report is also being sought from RAW about ISI activities in Nepal and India.
The three persons arrested yesterday in East Champaran district in Bihar had told police that they were paid Rs 3 lakh to plant explosives at Ghorasahan in the district on October 1, 2016.
A report is said to have come from Nepal confirming the Bihar Police’s claim that Pakistan’s ISI had paid Rs 30 lakh to its agent Brajesh Giri for triggering blasts on rail tracks targeting popular trains in Bihar, the sources said.
Central security agencies were now looking for two more persons identified as Gajendra Sharma and Rakesh Yadav in East Champaran area for their suspected links with the accused.
The role of ISI in the recent train disaster in Kanpur was being suspected after Bihar Police had yesterday arrested three persons who they claimed were working for the Pakistani spy agency to target Indian railways.
The ISI link to the November 20 train disaster, in which 150 people were killed, was being suspected after the interrogation of the trio, police had said.
During interrogation, the three arrested persons provided some “positive lead” about the Indore-Patna Express derailment in Kanpur, District Superintendent of Police Jitendra Rana had said.
Prabhu appeals to all state-run transporters to be extra vigilant
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has directed all security establishments of state-run transporters to be extra vigilant and careful in view of the activities of the anti-national elements.
The direction came a day after Bihar Police suspected Pakistan’s external spy agency ISI hand in two major train accidents near Kanpur which resulted in deaths of 151 passengers and injuries to 200 others. The minister asked railways’ security agencies to ensure effective coordination with the law and order enforcing agencies of the respective states. Prabhu has also appealed to the citizens to come forward and give any information of suspicious activity to the nearest law enforcing agencies.
Millennium Post was the first to report about Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) probing the matter on January 14. The paper had reported that ATS personnel had started the probe on complaint of a resident of Uttar Pradesh, who apprised the ATS about involvement of militants in “organizing” series of train derailments.