The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday named three members of the Naxal-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities as the main accused in the Gyneshwari train derailment case.
The investigative agency also announced a reward of Rs one lakh each for information leading to the arrest of the three accused -- Umakanto Mahato, Bapi Mahato and Asit Mahato.
On May 28, the Mumbai-bound train had been derailed and then hit by a goods train near Jharkhand in West Bengal, resulting in the deaths of 148 passengers.
"The CBI has declared a reward of Rs one lakh each for information leading to the arrest of the three prominent accused -- Umakant Mahto, resident of village Banksole, Manoj alias Bapi Mahto, resident of Rasua village and Asit Mahto, resident of Krishnanagar village," CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal said.
While Asit is the convener of the People's Committee against Police Atrocities, allegedly supported by Maoists, Umakant and Bapi are senior activists of the outfit, he said.
Bhal added that a manhunt has been launched for them. He said posters in English, Bengali and Alchiki (local language), with the details of the accused, were released on Thursday and they will be displayed at prominent places to seek information about the absconding accused.
He said any information about the three accused can be given round the clock on these telephone numbers -- 09674433351, 09051444405, 09051061000, 033-23596119 -- and fax number 033-23348713 or by email to email@example.com.
He said the investigation involves close coordination and cooperation between several organisations, agencies and individuals. The JIT comprises officials from CBI, the state police, Railway Protection Force, Railway Board and forensic experts, Bhal said. The CBI had earlier arrested PCPA leader Hiralal Mahato in connection to the case.