MHA hands over NIA to probe train arson in Odisha

NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday handed over the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the ‘terror’ link behind train arson at Puri railway station in Odisha.

Earlier, the Odisha government requested the Centre to hand over the case to NIA after it established possible terror link behind the incident.

In a notification, it said the central government had received credible information that a terrorist module was planning attacks in different parts of India.

The said module had visited various places in India to identify possible targets for terror attacks, said the notification.

“There is further credible information that the said module carried out low-intensity combustible blasts in railway coaches in Odisha and other places which resulted in a fire in some coaches,” the notification said.

The Home Ministry directed the NIA suo moto to register a case and begin an investigation into the offences and the larger conspiracy by the terrorist module.

It is to be noted that NIA SP Prashant Kumar on Wednesday visited Puri and examined the circumstances that led to the burning of three empty trains on November 12.

This coincided with the Puri sub-divisional judicial magistrate granting permission to the Government Railway Police (GRP) to take the prime accused in the case, Subhash Ramachandran, on a five-day more remand for interrogation.

The NIA SP went through the investigation reports of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the GRP.

He also scanned the CCTV footage of Puri railway station shot on the day of the incident.