Bihar: Home Min sends NIA team to probe claims of ISI role in train derailment


India, All India

The police had earlier arrested three people who claimed that ISI had a role in the derailment.

Representational Picture (Photo: File)

New Delhi: 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 that the NIA team will investigate if ISI had a role and also 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 a 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 role of ISI in the recent train disaster in Kanpur was being suspected after Bihar Police had arrested three persons on Tuesday who claimed that they were working for the Pakistani spy agency to target Indian railways.

The men were arrested in East Champaran district in Bihar and 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 also 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 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.