With conflicting reports on the cause of the train accident near Mathura, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee [ Images ] has decided to go for a Central Bureau of Investigation enquiry into the mishap. "Realising the gravity of the accident, I have decided that it is better to go for a CBI probe," Bannerjee told media-persons on Wednesday night during a visit to the site of the accident involving Goa [ Images ] Sampark Kranti Express and Mewar Express.
Twenty-two people were killed and as many injured in the accident on Wednesday. She said, "Many questions have cropped up. Somebody is saying that chain-pulling was the reason for the accident and others say there was a problem in the signal. It may be a case of criminal offence also. So, I have decided that we must hand over the case to CBI." The railway minister said if any criminal offence has been committed by anyone, there has to be stringent action against them and "hence we will hand over the case to the CBI". "We are for examining all issues. It was a very bad incident. We want to ensure punishment to all the guilty," Banerjee said.
The police has registered a case against unnamed persons after it emerged that the Mewar Express had come to a sudden halt because of alleged chain-pulling before it was hit from behind by the Goa Express. Banerjee said the Railway Ministry would bear all the expenses for the treatment of the injured. She thanked the Army, local police and the villagers for extending help to the accident victims. She said the Committee on Railway Safety will meet within 15 days and discuss all issues related to safety. "We will do whatever is possible to ensure safety." She visited the Maheswari Hospital in Mathura where the injured were undergoing treatment.