The police on Sunday arrested Bapi Mahato, one of the main accused in the May 28 Jnaneswari Express derailment case, in Jamshedpur. This is the fifth arrest in the case.
Mr. Mahato, who is a member of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) is one of the three main accused along with Umakanta Mahato and Asit Mahato.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the case, has recently announced a cash reward of Rs. 1 lakh for information on their whereabouts.
“The arrest is significant and should further investigations as he is one of the key action members,” Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh told The Hindu here.
CBI Director Ashwani Kumar had constituted a Joint Investigation Team comprising officers from the CBI, the West Bengal police, the Railway Protection Force, the Railway Board and forensic experts for carrying out the investigation.
Mr. Mahato was arrested from Rai Guest House in Jamshedpur by a team led by Sayyed Waqar Raza, Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Jhargram.
“We received information that a person was staying in that guest house whose name was Mahato. A team was sent and with the help of the local police Bapi Mahato was arrested,” Praveen Tripathi, Superintendent of Police, Jhargram, told this correspondent over telephone.
The arrangements for Bapi Mahato's stay had been made by a relative, Bimal Mahato, who was also arrested. The two were produced in a court in Jamshedpur and would be brought to Jhargram on Monday, Mr. Tripathi said.
The CBI would frame the charges, Mr. Singh said.
Mr. Mahato is the fifth person to have been arrested in connection with this case. On June 7, the police arrested Samir Mahato, followed by the arrest of Khagen Mahato. After the case was handed over to the CBI, Hiralal Mahato was arrested. On Saturday, Bholanath Mahato, who was a part of the team that removed pandrol clips from the track on the night of May 27, was arrested.