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Chemical used in IED at Ghorasan rail track identified

Sabotage suspected: The Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur on November 20 last year. Rajeev Bhatt

Sabotage suspected: The Indore-Patna Express derailed near Kanpur on November 20 last year. Rajeev Bhatt  

 

A forensic report with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said that “arsenic sulphide” was the primary material used in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which was found by the rail track at Ghorasan in Bihar on October 1 last year.

The chemical is mostly used in firecrackers and was used to make a pressure cooker bomb, which was detected and defused in Ghorasan, along the Nepal border.

Its discovery led to a series of arrests in Nepal and Bihar, pointing to a conspiracy hatched by Pakistan’s ISI to mobilise people to plant explosives at railway tracks.

Businessman questioned

Shamshul Hoda, a Nepali businessman arrested by the Nepal police in a double murder case and who is alleged to be a prime suspect, has already been questioned by an NIA team. Hoda told investigators that he had met a person named Shafi Sheikh, a Pakistani, who asked him to hire men to create mayhem in India.

 

While Hoda admitted to know about the conspiracy to plant explosives at Ghorasan and another one at Nakardehi in Bihar (a low intensity explosion which did not inflict any damage), he has told an NIA team that he was unaware of any such plan to target railway tracks near Kanpur on November 20, 2016 where more than 140 people were killed in a train derailment and at Kuneru in Andhra Pradesh where 40 people were killed in another derailment in January this year.

Chemical used in IED at Ghorasan rail track identified

One of the three accused arrested by Bihar Police in January had said that they had planted the bomb at Ghorasan at ISI’s instance and also at Kanpur, prompting home ministry to transfer the probe to NIA, after railway minister Suresh Prabhu shot off a letter to home minister Rajnath Singh alleging sabotage in at least six train accidents.

 

The NIA is yet to complete its investigations and the forensic report is awaited for Kanpur and Kuneru accidents, the investigating agency has now roped in a team of four professors at IIT Kanpur to ascertain if the derailments were caused by explosives.

U.P DGP Javeed Ahmed had earlier told The Hindu that the claims of the accused could not be corroborated and the preliminary investigations conducted by U.P police did not find any trace of explosive at the Kanpur railway tracks.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:33:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/chemical-used-in-ied-at-rail-track-identified/article17533346.ece

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