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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightIIT Team rules out...

IIT Team rules out role of explosives in 2016 Kanpur train derailment

IIT Team rules out role of explosives in 2016 Kanpur train derailment

A team of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) experts submitted its report regarding the 2016 November train accident near Kanpur, stating that no explosives were found on the railway tracks.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is set to file a “final report” on the Kanpur and Kuneru train derailments following the IIT team's findings, according to media sources.

The Indore-Rajendranagar Express derailed near Kanpur on November 20, 2016 in which 152 people had died. In another accident on 22 January last year, over 40 people were killed when the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneshwar Express derailed near Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh .

The then railway minister Suresh Prabhu claimed the two accidents were a result of “sabotage” and written a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding a probe by the NIA.

A senior government official said the team of IIT experts had submitted a “fat report” and the agency was reviewing it.

“The report does not suggest that the accidents were caused by any explosive device. The NIA will submit a final report. No person was ever arrested and we engaged the experts for a concrete opinion,” said the official.

The train accidents became a hot political issue in the build up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, addressing an election rally in Gonda on February 23 last year, said that the Kanpur train accident was “a conspiracy and the conspirators had carried it out sitting across the border.” Home Minister Rajnath Singh was questioned by parliamentarians regarding Mr. Modi’s statement whether Pakistan’s ISI was involved in the accident. Mr. Singh clarified that the “Prime Minister did not directly mention the ISI.”

Even earlier, a report by the Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad had stated that “no traces of explosives were found” at the accident site in Kuneru.

Mr. Prabhu had alleged “sabotage” after Moti Paswan, arrested by Bihar Police in January 2017 for allegedly planting a pressure cooker bomb at Ghorasan in Bihar, claimed he had planted the bomb at Kanpur, which led to the train’s derailment. This was later suspected to be an attempt to derail the enquiry, However, when an NIA team quizzed him, Paswan said that was only a boasting about his involvement. The explosion narration was also denied by UP police.

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