THE ARREST of five people for suspicious activities on a highway in Mumbra in Thane district near Mumbai, has led to a big disclosure: the five were involved in an attempt to sabotage the tracks near Diva railway station nearby earlier this year.
During questioning, the five admitted that they kept a huge piece of rail on the tracks, the police said. The five arrested on Thursday afternoon were identified as Danish Akbar Sheikh (26), Suraj Vinay Bhosle (25), Mohammad Sabir Sheikh (34), Namir Usman Saiyad (24), and Jayesh Nagesh Pare. Barring Pare, who is from nearby Retibunder, all are residents of Mumbra.
A possible mishap was averted when the locomotive driver of Madgaon-Dadar Jan Shatabdi Express spotted the rail — of 6.3-metre and weighing nearly 350 kg — on the night of January 24 and stopped the train. The train had 700 passengers at the time.
The five have reportedly told the interrogators that they placed the piece of rail on the tracks at the behest of one Maula Makandar, who was arrested on March 17 by the Railway Protection Force in connection with a theft, and is lodged in Taloja jail of Navi Mumbai. A Thane Police spokesperson said he will be questioned in the coming days.
The spokesperson also said that the five arrested have a history of small-time thefts. The police are probing whether they were involved in any other sabotage. They have been remanded in police custody until April 17.