IN A setback to the Thane police probe in the train sabotage case in which Mumbra police arrested five persons in April for placing a 380 kg rod on the Diva Panvel railway track, the Government Railway Police (GRP), where the FIR was registered, has found no evidence against the accused and will be informing the court about it next week.
Apart from no evidence being found in the case, the results of the polygraph tests conducted on the five accused by the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory to the GRP has said that the profiling has found no involvement of the five accused. The accused, currently arrested by the Kalamboli police in another case, are likely to be released on bail next week after the GRP formally informs the court.
A senior IPS officer said, “It would be unjust to keep these men behind bars when we have not found any evidence against them. Hence, we will not be chargesheeting them.”
GRP Commissioner Niket Kaushik said, “It is not that the case is closed. Investigation will continue. However, it is true that no evidence has been found in the matter so far.”
The case where the motorman of the Madgaon-Dadar Jan Shatabdi Express carrying 700 passengers on January 25 this year spotted an iron rod on the Diva Panvel tracks and applied brakes in the nick of time, had become important as it followed a series of cases where attempts were made to derail trains across the country. There were also suspicions of a terror module behind these derailments leading to agencies like Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) probing the matter.
In a press conference on April 13 this year, the Thane police had announced that alleged drug addicts and history sheeters Danish Shaikh (26), Suraj Bhosle (25), Mohd Shaikh (36), Nazir Sayed (24) and Jayesh Pare (30) had confessed to the crime after they were picked up Mumbra police. However, after the accused were handed over to the Thane GRP where the FIR was registered, the railway police did not find any evidence against the accused.
While the call records of one of the accused was found in Nashik at the time of the incident, the other accused appeared to be close to the spot, but not at the spot where the incident took place.
The GRP also had doubts whether the five accused would have been able to pick up the 380 kg rod within a span of a few minutes as motormen in a train that passed by 13 minutes earlier had not seen the rod on the tracks.
The Mumbra police had countered that while one of the accused had forgotten his mobile phone at his Nashik residence and hence his location was showing there. They added that the others were at the scene of the crime.
A letter was sent by GRP to Mumbra police, asking the latter to clarify the grounds on which the accused were arrested. After failing to find any evidence, the GRP did not file a chargesheet within the stipulated 90-day period. They informed the court that to be sure that the accused did not appear to be involved, they wanted to conduct a polygraph test.
Two weeks back, the FSL sent a report to the Thane GRP, stating that based on the polygraph test they found the five accused had no role in the sabotage. While the polygraph test is not considered evidence, in several cases, it is used as corroborative evidence or is helpful to provide leads.
The five accused, arrested for their roles in petty crimes in the past, will however not be released from prison as currently they are in the custody of Kalamboli police in another case, Sonawane said.