BHUBANESWAR: Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha on Sunday took potshots at Government Railway Police (GRP) saying it was reluctant to register a case over the train coaches burning at Puri railway station on November 12.
It was only after the Railway Protection Force (RPF) investigated into it and presented evidence that GRP took the steps, Sinha said.
The Union Minister, who was here to review the East Coast Railway (ECoR) operations, told mediapersons that initially, the GRP was unwilling to register a case in the train fire incident though two constables of the RPF had nabbed a person. In fact, Ramachandran Subash, the lone accused in the train coaches burning incident, was held by the two RPF constables on the evening of the incident while the GRP was groping in the dark. “The GRP registered a case when RPF presented the evidence,” Sinha said.
The Union Minister was full of praise for Chief Security Commissioner (CRC) of ECoR Atul Pathak who made the first breakthrough into the sensational case by interrogating Subash, a resident of Tirunelveli. “When the CRC interrogated him in Tamil, the accused confessed to his involvement in torching train coaches at Gaya and Haridwar,” Sinha said.
Basing on preliminary evidence and interrogation of Subash, RPF had suspected terror links in the train coaches fire incident. Later, the State Police sought the support of National Investigation Agency and subsequently, the agency took over the case completely. “The NIA has taken over the probe and the RPF has nothing to do with it,” Sinha said. Subash had set five coaches of four trains on fire on November 12 before he was apprehended.
Sinha said the Railways have introduced a toll free helpline number 182 for security in running trains while three major railway stations of the State will be covered under the Integrated Security System. “The Railways is committed to the security of women in trains which is why it has decided to reserve 10 per cent for women candidates during recruitment in the RPF. This will improve security of women travellers,” he added.