Kerala train arson | Suspect brought back to Kozhikode from Maharashtra

Interrogation underway by the Special Investigation team led by ADGP M.R. Ajithkumar

Updated - April 06, 2023 11:52 am IST

Published - April 06, 2023 10:32 am IST - Kozhikode

Shahrukh Saifi, suspected of starting a fire onboard a train in Kerala, which left three dead, being apprehended by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), near Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.

Shahrukh Saifi, suspected of starting a fire onboard a train in Kerala, which left three dead, being apprehended by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), near Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. | Photo Credit: PTI

Shahrukh Saifi, the prime suspect in the Kozhikode train arson case who was apprehended by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad from Ratnagiri railway station on Tuesday night, was brought to Kozhikode city on Thursday morning.

He was taken to the Armed Reserve Camp of the police at Maloorkkunnu near here for a preliminary interrogation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by ADGP M. R. Ajithkumar.

After undergoing a medical examination at the Government General Hospital, Kozhikode, he will be presented in the Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate Court(I). Discussions among the police are currently ongoing regarding whether sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act should also be charged against him.

Already the Railway Police have registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 326-A (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, etc.), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), and 438 (whoever commits or attempts to commit by fire or any explosive substance), as well as Section 151 of the Railways Act, which pertains to damage to or destruction of certain railway properties. Police sources said that more evidence in the case would be collected once Shahrukh is in custody. 

Meanwhile, the police team transporting the suspect faced criticism for poor safety measures due to the two glitches they encountered in Kannur district. While transporting the accused, a wheel on the car unexpectedly burst, and when an alternate vehicle was hired to continue the journey, it too encountered a mechanical failure. Despite this, senior police officers dismissed allegations of unmanageable hazards on the way.

The 24-year-old suspect, a native of Shaheen Bagh in Delhi and who worked as a small-time carpenter in neighbouring Noida in Uttar Pradesh, was accused of setting fellow passengers on fire on the Alappuzha-Kannur Executive Express near Elathur in Kozhikode on April 2. This tragic incident resulted in three fatalities and left nine other passengers with burn injuries. The suspect himself suffered burns in the fire and also sustained injuries to his forehead after falling from a train near Khed, Ratnagiri, while trying to escape to Ajmer.

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