They are looking at possible negligence on the part of MEMU driver

A special team of the Government Railway Police investigating the train accident that killed 10 persons and injured several others near Arakkonam on Tuesday night has sought the assistance of experts in the Southern Railway. As part of the probe into the criminal angle, police have called for data logger records and statements of officials concerned in the accident, sources in the investigating agency said on Sunday.

Investigation is progressing under the provisions of Section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash and negligent driving endangering human life) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of IPC.

While ruling out any sabotage angle, investigators are looking at possible negligence on the part of the Chennai Beach-Vellore Cantonment Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) driver, the sources said.

‘Unauthorised persons'

Inspector General of Police (Railways) Sunil Kumar said the focus was on ascertaining whether there was any violation of established rules or procedures.

“We have sought the opinion of railway officials on the signalling system in the section (between Melpakkam and Chitheri railway stations). Every suspicion or information has to be substantiated with admissible evidence. Investigation is likely to be completed in a few days,” he said.

The ill-fated Arakkonam-Katpadi Passenger Train that bore the brunt of the collision allegedly had one or two unauthorised persons travelling in Guard Cabin or brake van.

According to police sources, the body of C. Girish Kumar (31), Station Master of Wallajahbad station, was found along with that of G. Raghunath (48), guard of the passenger train, in the brake van. It is suspected that M. Sivalingam (52), a Shunting Man who died in the accident, also travelled with them.

“The brake van is a protected area where only the guard has access. Senior railway officials and others are permitted to travel only on duty and with due authorisation from the competent authority. An eyewitness remembers having seen two persons with the guard,” said a police official, who did not want to be quoted.