Published On: Sun, Aug 20th, 2017

GM NR sent on leave, four suspended after deadly UP train mishap

New Delhi/Muzaffarnagar: The government on Sunday suspended four Northern Railway officials and sent its General Manager on leave after authorities admitted to negligence that may have led to the derailment of the Kalinga Utkal Express train in Uttar Pradesh which claimed 22 lives.

Some track maintenance equipment used for repairs were found at the accident site

In an action that indicated that the government was determined to check recurring rail disasters in India, the Divisional Rail Manager, Delhi, and Railway Board Member (Engineering) were also asked to proceed on leave.

The action, which came nearly 24 hours after the tragedy, was taken based on prima facie evidence, a Railway Ministry statement said.

Northern Railway Spokesperson Neeraj Sharma said that the suspended officials included Khatauli Junior Engineer Pradeep Kumar, Muzaffarnagar Senior Section Engineer Inder Jeet Singh, Assistant Engineer(Meerut-Delhi Division) Rohit Kumar and Senior Divisional Engineer (Delhi) RK Verma.

Those asked to go on leave were Northern Railway General Manager RR Kulshrestha, Divisional Rail Manager RN Singh and Railway Board Member AK Mittal. Besides, Chief Track Engineer of Northern Railway Alok Ansal was transferred.

Earlier, as the authorities began probing the exact cause of the train disaster, a criminal complaint was lodged against unknown people for causing deaths by negligence.

Mohd Jamshed from the Railway Board told the media in New Delhi that lapses in maintenance work being carried out on the track could have caused the accident involving the speeding train at Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district.

“We did a site inspection. Some track maintenance equipment used for repairs were found at the accident site (apparently left behind by workers),” Jamshed said.

He said the railways were probing the disaster from all angles and a case had been registered for “causing damage or destruction of railway properties, for mischief, for death by negligence, for causing grievous hurt, injuring lives by overlooking safety”.

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