The CID has arrested the owner of a pickup van allegedly used to ferry men who sabotaged the railway tracks leading to the May 28 Jnaneswari Express derailment in which 148 persons were killed.

Khagen Mahato, a resident of Chanapara village near Manikpara was arrested from Kharagpur on Friday, sources in the CID, which has been entrusted by the West Bengal government to investigate the incident in West Midnapore district, said.

They alleged that the pickup, which was seized, was used to ferry the saboteurs on May 28 to the spot.

Khagen told interrogators that the plan to sabotage the tracks was drawn up by a PCPA supporter Bapi Mahato and an anti-social Manik Mahato at Muramoni on the night of May 27.

The Jnaneswari Express went off the tracks at 1.30 am on May 28 with 13 of its coaches derailing and five of the derailed coaches being hit by an oncoming goods train.

The Centre had on June 2 ordered a CBI inquiry into the mishap.

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