The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Last Death Express pulls in at Howrah

The last of the coffins bearing the victims of the Rajdhani Express accident reached Howrah station on Saturday.

It was 10.40 am when the Delhi-Howrah super-fast train pulled into platform no 21 with six more coffins, including one bearing former CPM MP Susanta Chakraborty.

The bodies of Chakraborty and his friend Dilip Sengupta were handed over to their relatives. Four more coffins carrying the bodies of Bangladeshi citizens were handed over to their relatives who had flown in from Dhaka. After the arrival of the train, the total number of bodies to reach Howrah became 53.

Railway employees on Saturday had to face the biggest crowd since Wednesday, the day after the mishap, as party leaders and cadres started assembling on the platform much before the train was scheduled to arrive. Hundreds of party supporters, who were not allowed to enter, stayed back on the new terminal premises.

Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty, minister of state for health Pratyush Mukhopadhyay, state CITU secretary Chittabrata Majumdar and CPM MLA from Howrah Lagan Deo Singh were present at the station.

Railway Protection Force and civil defence personnel had cordoned off the area where the third coach of the train, which carried all the six coffins, was scheduled to halt.

Swadesh Chakraborty, the Howrah MP who had gone to the accident site and identified Chakraborty’s decomposed body, was the first to step down from the third coach. As soon as the railwaymen were seen bringing out the coffins, party cadres started shouting slogans.

Chakraborty’s coffin was wrapped with the red party flag before being placed on the hearse. The procession marched towards his Salkia residence from where the coffin was taken to the Babudanga party office.

In contrast, Shah Alam, brother of one of the four Bangla-deshi victims, was seen sitting alone on the platform. “I have spent the past four days at the station. The bodies were identified three days ago. I can’t understand why it took so long...” he said.

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