An alleged conspirator of the May 28 Jnaneswari Express disaster, who had fled West Bengal and sought refuge in Orissa, was arrested on Wednesday along with his cousin from Mayurbhanj district by a joint police team of the two states.
Manik Mahto, 35, who hail from Mundaboni village near Jhargram in West Midnapore district, was arrested along with Bijoy Mahto from a house at Krushnachandrapur, about 15 km from here, Betanati police station Inspector In-Charge Sudarshan Das told PTI.
The duo were staying at Manik’s brother-in-law Manoj Mahanta’s house at Krushnachandrapur when they were arrested on a tip off, he said.
Manik, who was frequently changing his residences, was wanted in connection with the train disaster. Bijay’s antecedents were being verified to ascertain whether he was also involved in Maoist activities, police said.
Jhargram police sources said Manik was a history-sheeter who had fled after the CBI announced a reward of Rs. one lakh each for key accused, Bapi Mahto, who was later arrested in Jharkhand, PCPA convenor Asit Mahto and PCPA leader Umakanta Mahto.
Bapi Mahto, during interrogation, had revealed the name of Manik, who was present at a meeting of the conspirators on the night preceding the mishap that left 148 passengers dead, the sources said.
Mahto is the eighth person to be arrested in the case, which is being investigated by the CBI.