The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday ruled out any terror links to the derailment of the Utkal Express at Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar. Addition Director General of Police (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said there was no proof of any terror outfit’s involvement in the mishap yet, PTI reported.
“The Anti-Terror Squad has been camping there [at the accident site] since yesterday,” he said. “As per investigations done till now, there is no concrete evidence pointing to the role of any terror outfit’s involvement. Chances are that the derailment may have occurred due to some other technical reasons.”
At least 24 passengers were killed and more than 150 were injured after 14 coaches of the train heading to Haridwar from Puri went off the tracks on Saturday.
Earlier on Sunday, four railway officials, including a senior divisional engineer, were suspended in connection with the derailment. The Railway Board also sent three officials on leave. These include Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) RN Singh, Northern Railway General Manager RK Kulshreshtra and Railway Board Member (Engineering) Aditya Mittal. The chief track engineer of Northern Railway was transferred, The Indian Express reported.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had directed Railway Board Chairperson AK Mittal to find out who was responsible for the Utkal Express derailment. “We will not allow laxity in operations by the [Railway] Board,” Prabhu said on Twitter. “I have directed the CRB to fix responsibility based on prima facie evidence by the end of the day.”