Top Maoist leader Kishenji claimed on Tuesday that his oufit was not involved in the May 28 Jnaneswari Express disaster in West Midnapore district that claimed 148 lives.
"We are not involved in the derailment of the Jnaneswari Express. We have no relation with the people who have done it," Kishenji told PTI from an undisclosed location. When pointed out that police was accusing Maoists for the mishap, he said, "We have said earlier that we were not involved in the accident. The police can cook up their own stories. We are fighting for the people and we will not do anything at their cost," said the Maoist Politburo member, who has remained incommunicado for a month with the police claiming that he was injured in the Hatiloth forest encounter on March 25 and was hiding somewhere in West Midnapore district.
On June 19, West Midnapore Superintendent of Police, Manoj Verma had said that Kishenji was hiding with senior leader Bikash and woman leader Tara, who was believed to have led the Maoists who raided the Eastern Frontier Rifles camp at Sildah on February 15 that left 24 personnel dead.
Earlier, after the arrest on June 20 of one of the main accused in the train disaster, Bapi Mahto from a guest house at Adityapur in Jharkhand's Sarikela-Kharswan district, Maoist spokesman Akash had also claimed that Maoists did not kill innocent people and were not involved. He had also said that Mahto did not belong to the outfit.