Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that trains are “soft targets” and hinted that extremists could have been behind the train accident in the State's Kharagpur railway division.

Ms. Banerjee, however, did not elaborate, when asked who might have been responsible for what she described as a “bomb blast” that resulted in the derailment of the coaches of the 2102 UP Howrah-Kurla Jnaneswari Express. The police have not confirmed this.

She said “law and order is a State subject.”

“We do not even have the power to file an FIR.”

“We are running the trains following clearance from the State government; if the government says do not run them we will stop running them,” she told journalists at the site of the accident.

Inquiry sought

The State government has called for an inquiry by its Criminal Investigation Department into the accident but Ms. Banerjee wanted the Home Ministry to order an inquiry “as there are law and order questions” involved. She sought one by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“There is a conspiracy on against the Railways…the Centre should inquire into it properly and take steps” she told a local television channel while holding “those who cannot fight us politically” as responsible for the tragedy.

“I am sorry it is not an accident even though it has been made to look like one,” she added.