The West Bengal police on Saturday night said Maoists were behind the Gyaneshwari Express derailment and claimed to have identified the culprits behind the incident that has claimed 136 lives so far.
"Those who did it are all members of Maoist squads. We have identified them and a search is on to nab them," Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh told reporters. He said two members of a Maoist squad, who were recently released on bail, had led the operation.
"We have information that the two, along with others of the squad, had gone to the site on the night of the incident and had opened the pendral clips and fishplates before the derailment occurred," he said, adding that the Maoists also took the help of the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities.
In reply to a question, he said that investigators probing the incident have collected a number of samples from the site, but they have not come across evidence of any explosion as claimed by the driver of the express train.
Besides the Criminal Investigation Department and the state police teams, a team of forensic experts were also at the site, he said. Twelve railway linesmen posted in the Khemasuli-Saridha area were being questioned by investigators, the official said.
Asked to comment on the silence by Maoists following the incident, he said, "They speak only when they kill the police. They remain silent while killing civilians. They are waging a war against the State."
Thirteen coaches of the passenger train derailed in the wee hours of Friday as portions of the track were missing. A goods train coming from the opposite direction rammed into five of them, causing the maximum casualties.