It will be assisted by Central security agencies, RPF, State government

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will probe the May 28 Jnaneswari Express derailment in West Midnapore district of West Bengal in which 148 people lost their lives.

The Centre's decision came on a day when Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress emerged victorious in the civic polls in West Bengal.

Alleging “political conspiracy” behind the derailment, the Railway Minister had been demanding a CBI probe.

However, the State government opposed it, saying the CID probe was progressing well and there was no need for a parallel probe.

The decision to hand over the probe to the CBI was taken as the incident had taken place on railway property and in such cases the concurrence of the State government was not required.

“We have decided to hand over the case to the CBI under Section 5 of the Delhi Police Special Establishment Act, under which the CBI functions,” a senior Home Ministry official said on Wednesday.

A formal notification will be issued in a day. The CBI will be helped by the Central security agencies, the Railway Protection Force and the West Bengal government.

“The State government has conveyed to us that they will cooperate in the investigation,” the official said.

‘Truth has to come out'

Kolkata Staff Correspondent reports:

At a press conference in Kolkata, Ms. Banerjee said she had got information from her Ministry that the Home Ministry had decided to order a CBI probe. “We want the truth to come out …It was a sabotage that killed so many people.” Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh denied reports that four persons were arrested in connection with the derailment and they had confessed to having Maoist links. “The investigations are progressing on the correct path but none has been arrested so far,” he said.

15 detained: PSBJC

The Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee, however, claimed that the police detained more than 15 innocent persons from villages adjoining Sardiha, the accident site.

The outfit's spokesperson, Asit Mahato, told The Hindu on the phone: “The police are feeding wrong reports to the media to cover up the involvement of CPI(M) cadres.”