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Prime accused in Jnaneswari train mishap arrested

November 13, 2011 16:15 IST

Prime accused in the Jnaneswari Express train sabotage Asit Mahato, who was carrying a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head, was arrested on Sunday from Gorneta village in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

Acting on the basis of information provided by five Maoists arrested from Salboni in West Midnapore district on Saturday, the Joint Forces arrested Mahato from an abandoned house at Gorneta village.

Two of his accomplices escaped when the Joint Forces raided the house at the village in the Salboni police station area, the police said.

He will be produced in a court on Monday.

Mahato, wanted in connection with 13 other cases in Maoist-affected Jangalmahal, was also the spokesman for the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities, alleged to be a frontal organisation of the Maoists, after the arrest of Chhatradhar Mahato, its former spokesman.

The CBI had named three top leaders of the PCPA in the Jnaneswari Express train accident that claimed 148 lives on May 28, last year.

While Bapi Mahato was arrested, Umakanta Mahato was killed in an encounter.

Asit is the third top functionary of the organisation.

In one of the worst train accidents in the country, 13 coaches of the Mumbai-bound Jnaneswari Express jumped the tracks between Khemasuli and Sardiha stations, shortly after which an oncoming goods train rammed into the derailed coaches.

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