The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Anger over missing ex-MP

Rafiganj, Sept. 12: Incredulity and rage gripped the relatives of Susanta Chakraborty, who could not be traced even after rescue workers had searched every nook and cranny of coach A-4 of the ill-fated Rajdhani Express, in which the former CPM MP was supposed to be travelling.

Chakraborty’s mystery disappearance has intrigued senior railway officers, who have received many telephone calls from his relatives. “We were accused of the MP’s disappearance. We were branded as worthless by his relatives but we know these are expressions of anger from a grief-stricken and stunned family,” said S. Dubey at the rescue site.

Railway officers said Chakraborty and his security guard were to occupy seat 37-38 in coach A-4. This was confirmed by his family members.

However, railway officials are not sure whether the former parliamentarian is “dead or alive”'

For some reason, coach A-4 featured low on the list of priorities for the rescue workers. It was only yesterday that railway officers brought out 10 passengers from the coach in an emaciated state. But Chakraborty was not among them.

“I have been contacted by a minister in West Bengal who said he would be coming personally to see the entire coach himself. I don’t mind allowing him that,” said Mughalsarai divisional railway minister K.K. Saxena.

Railway officials said there were now two options left for searching out Chakraborty. “One possibility is to find out the bodies among the unidentified ones kept in the coffins before it becomes too bad for recognition,” said railway police officer S. Mishra.

“We have thought of other options like searching the river. But the fact that Chakraborty would jump off the train and plunge into Dhawa river for his survival is remote, as the windows were closed. Still, we would definitely do that also,” he added.

The rescue team is pulling out coach A-4 from the heap to cut open the bogie’s walls and start searching for survivors all over again.

Probe postponed

The statutory inquiry into the derailment of the Rajdhani Express, which was scheduled to begin from September 16, was postponed tonight, PTI reports.

An eastern railway spokesman said the date of the probe by commissioner of railway safety, eastern circle, Mahesh Chand, would be announced later.

The inquiry by the one-man commission under the ministry of civil aviation was scheduled to be held at Gaya station.

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