NEW DELHI: Detection of missing fish plates and elastic rail clips on the tracks near Kanpur in poll-bound UP on January 1, a day ahead of PM Narendra Modi's Lucknow rally, has prompted the railways to seek a CBI inquiry into a suspected sabotage bid.
Already rattled by two accidents — the derailment of Indore-Patna Express on November 20 and Sealdah-Ajmer Express on December 28 — in the same section, the railways took no chances when its patrolling staff found that fish plates had been removed between Kalyanpur and Mandhana Railway stations of Farrukhabad-Kanpur Anwarganj section on January 1.
Parts of the tracks were also damaged by a hacksaw. "The sabotage bid (on January 1) forced us to seek a CBI probe to ensure that the truth comes out," a railway official said, adding that the scope of the investigation may widen to cover both accidents if investigators found a common thread.
The December 28 accident made the railways brass jittery as it took place on the busy Delhi-Howrah route, considered one of the safest in India, and used by elite trains such as the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis. The commissioner of railway safety is probing the accident, but many railway officers feel that the CBI perhaps needs to investigate it along with the other accident and the "sabotage bid".
Accidents ring alarm bells in railways
Alarm bells had also gone off when 150 people died as the Indore-Patna Express derailed in Kanpur's Pukhrayan. The same day, the PM was to address a rally in Agra and speak at the concluding session of Rail Vikas Shivir, a three-day conclave of railway employees across the hierarchy.
After this accident, railways minister Suresh Prabhu had told Parliament, "There shall be separate comprehensive probe aided by latest technical and forensic analysis by an appropriate agency to look into all possible angles."
Source - Times Of India