Kozhikode: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Kochi and Chennai units have handed the Center a report on last Sunday’s Elathur train fire, in which three people died and nine were injured. Manorama News said the report indicates the possibility of links to terrorism cannot be ignored. He said there was planning and conspiracy to carry out the crime, and that an investigation into this should also be carried out outside Kerala. A decision on whether the NIA should take over the case will be made after reviewing the report, according to Manorama News.

Meanwhile, defendant Shahrukh Saifi sought medical attention on Sunday, saying he was unwell. The police asked Kozhikode Medical College to send a doctor to Maloorkunnu Police Camp. The previously planned collection of evidence will only take place after his suitability has been verified, according to reports.

A few days ago, doctors examined Saifi and said the burns on her body were less than 1% and the scratches were from efforts to escape. They had also judged him and in good enough health to be questioned in connection with the case.

Investigators were due to start the process of collecting evidence in Shoranur, Elathoor and Kannur, from Sunday. State police held three meetings with the NIA DIG on Saturday, and it’s believed the NIA could pick up the case this week.

What did Saifi do during the day?
It was found that the accused spent a whole day in Shoranur after arriving in Kerala on the Sampark Kranthi Express, which he boarded from Delhi on March 31.

He arrived at Shoranur railway station at 4:49 a.m. on April 2. He bought four liters of petrol in three bottles from a fuel pump located just one kilometer from the station.

The executive express Alappuzha-Kannur, in which the attack was carried out, arrived at the station at 7 p.m. on the same day. The train left the station at 7:19 p.m.

The cops are investigating what he did and where he went all day. They collected CCTV footage from the station and the gas pump.

conspiracy angle

The lead received following the inspection of Shahrukh’s mobile phone, discussions on social media platforms and bank account details points to a conspiracy behind the attack, sources said.

The Special Investigations Team (SIT) has now concluded that Shahrukh, who had not visited the state before, received assistance from some people in the state. For example, police found different handwritings in Shahrukh’s book recovered from the crime scene.

The accused carefully wrote down the daily activities and dates in English.

However, someone else wrote the names of some places like Chirayinkeezhu, Kazhakoottam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kulachal and Kanyakumari, sources said. Cops suspect it might be the person who suggested where all the attacks should be carried out.

Police also need to find out how the three people died in the incident.

The NIA could take over the case
The Kerala SIT team has submitted the progress report of the probe to NIA DIG. A decision to hand over the investigation to the national counterterrorism agency is being actively considered if the SIT fails to provide substantiated leads by Monday.

Meanwhile, Shahrukh stuck to his earlier statement that he poured petrol over passengers on a moving train and set them on fire alone.

The investigation is progressing based on an assessment of other evidence.

It is inferred that the accused had received no training before the attack, and that is why he too suffered burns during the act. Police also investigated whether it was an experimental act of terror carried out before a major attack.

Why Shoranur
Shoranur is one of the major parcel stations in Kerala and many vehicles arrive there daily with parcels. It is normal for drivers of these vehicles to buy bottled gasoline and diesel. This is why the defendants could buy fuel without arousing any suspicion, sources point out.

The assessment of SIT officials is that the accused, who had never visited the state before, would not have known about this specialty of Shoranur and that is why they suspect that he was helped by someone else.

The Incident
On the night of April 2, the defendant burst into compartment D1 of the Executive Express at around 9:17 p.m., carrying bottled gasoline. He poured the fuel on the passengers without any provocation and started the fire when the train reached Korapuzha Bridge near Elathur.

Nine people suffered burns, while the bodies of a woman, a baby and a man were later found on the tracks near Elathur. Police believe they fell or jumped off the train when they saw the fire. The accused fled from the place and was later arrested by Ratnagiri Maharashtra ATS on Tuesday.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *