The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rajdhani sabotage stink

New Delhi, Aug. 23: The Railway Board has said sabotage was the cause for one of the worst train accidents in recent memory when the 2301 Up Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed near Rafiganj in Bihar’s Aurangabad district on September 9 last year, killing 108 passengers.

Mahesh Chand, the chief commissioner of railway safety (CCRS), Eastern Railway, who investigated the accident, concluded that it occurred due to an act of sabotage.

The train derailed because some miscreants had removed fishplates and the elastic rail clips of the cess side single rail at the Howrah-end approach of bridge No.445.

A senior Railway Board official said: “We have accepted the cause of accident and will take further action like filing police complaints in due course. The issue will also be taken up with the state government.”

The railway has already paid compensation to the next of kin of 102 victims.

“This is the first report to be made public within hours of its acceptance by the Railway Board. In future, any report related to an accident will be made public within 24 hours,” said a source in the board.

Union minister Nitish Kumar has directed the ministry to make railway accident reports public immediately after they are submitted to the Railway Board.

The chief commissioner of railway safety makes many recommendations which are not directly related to the cause or circumstances leading to an accident, but come up during the process of inquiry. Most of his recommendations are accepted and implemented by the railway.

“In this accident, too, the Railway Board has accepted almost all the recommendations made by the commission and has also started their implementation with necessary directions to zonal railways,” said a ministry release.

According to the release: “The report has put the ‘primary responsibility’ of the derailment on unknown/unidentified persons and ascribed the ‘secondary responsibility’ on law and order enforcing agencies.”

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