Madurai Bureau

Officials present their versions of the incident at Rameswaram

RAMANATHAPURAM/MADURAI: Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Intelligence) A.K. Viswanathan on Wednesday conducted an enquiry to find out whether there was any security lapse during Governor Surjit Singh Barnala’s visit to Rameswaram on January 14, when he slipped from a moving train and escaped unhurt.

The government had ordered a probe into the incident.

Deputy Inspector-General Rajiv Kumar, Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar, Superintendent of Police R. Thirugnanam, and other officials met him and gave their versions. Mr. Viswanathan also visited the Rameswaram railway station, inspected the place of the incident and made enquiries with railway staff. The scope of the investigation would also focus on vulnerable areas in trains and on railway premises during VVIP visits.

Mr. Barnala, who reached Rameswaram by the Sethu Express, slipped while alighting from an air-conditioned coach.

Alert security personnel prevented the VVIP from falling.

Eyewitnesses claimed that the train halted for about 45 seconds and suddenly moved when the Governor was trying to get down. Minister for Slum Clearance, Suba Thangavelan, Mr. Kirlosh Kumar and senior police officers were present when the incident occurred. A departmental inquiry by railway authorities revealed that the train did halt for some time and then moved on to a distance of about three metres to its designated halt.

“It is not uncommon… trains do move a little after stopping as the driver has to reach the designated stop. As of now no dereliction has been made out on the part of any railway staff,” a railway official told The Hindu.