Four people were arrested early on Wednesday in connection with the Jnaneswari train derailment in the first breakthrough in investigations into the disaster that has been blamed on rebels.

Official sources said the 202 Battalion of Special Action Force (SAF, earlier known as CoBRA), along with the State police apprehended Lalto Mahto, Dilip Mahto, Ashit Mahto and Kamlesh Mahto from Guimera village under Jhargram police station early on Wednesday morning.

The sources said the security forces were on a cordon and search operation in the village when some suspicious persons tried to run away.

Eight persons were apprehended and during preliminary interrogation four of them are said to have admitted to providing “administrative support” to a group of suspected Naxalites, who had tampered with the railway track that led to the derailment of the Mumbai-bound train.

Sources said all the four are being further questioned about their links to the Naxalites and their network.

Asked what they meant by “administrative support”, sources said the men provided logistics to the group of Naxals who had caused the mishap.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had said the needle of suspicion for the mishap pointed to Maoists or their front organisations while Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee put the blame on a “political conspiracy”.

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