The death toll stands at around two hundred and seventy-five and there are a thousand and one hundred injured who have suffered grave consequences as well, in the Balasore Train Wreck tragedy that occurred recently in the state of Odisha, where there was a horrifying collision between the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, the Yashwantpur-Howrah Super-Fast Express, carrying 2,500 passengers, and a third goods train carrying iron ore, in an unbelievably accidental chain of events.
Apparently, the Coromandel Express derailed near the Bahanaga Baazar Station, Balasore which is situated about two hundred and fifty kilometers south of Kolkata and one hundred and seventy kilometers north of Bhubaneshwar, onto the adjacent tracks, displacing about fifteen or more bogeys or compartments in an obstructing manner in the path of the incoming Yashwantpur-Howrah Super-Fast Express, which then crashed directly into the compartments in its path.
This catastrophe escalated with the inclusion of the third freight train in the equation which came speeding along from the opposite direction. On last Sunday in Bhubaneshwar, the Railway Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, reportedly stated that the authorities have “recommended a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe into the triple train accident.”
CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Following due procedure, the formalities of the case regarding the Train Wreck issue are to be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Central Bureau of Investigation is reportedly “all set” to take over the case from the local authorities and figure out the hidden details of the case that truly led to the transpiring of such tragic events. The chances are that the case will be to the Special Crime Unit at the Delhi Head Quarters, given the seriousness of the matter at hand.
The Balasore GRP case numbered 64 as per registration was registered by the Odisha Police on the third of June, 2023. The Odisha police registered the case under sections 153 (unlawful and negligent actions endangering the lives of the rail-way passengers), 154, and 175 (endangering lives) of the Railways Act as well as sections 337, 338, 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In order to successfully initiate the probe in this case, the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Odisha Police is re-registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation as its own and then they may start with the probe, as per procedural provisions. After the completion of the probe, when the charge sheet is filed, the Central Bureau of Investigation may add or remove any charges it sees fit to be added or excluded from the First Information Report.
According to Railway officials who sense foul play, apparently, the electronic interlocking system which detects the presence of incoming trains, has perhaps been tampered with, leading to a terrifying scale of loss of life and personal injury to the general public. The indication of a potential ‘sabotage’ changes the definition of the entire incident, what was perceived up until now as an unfortunate accident, will turn out to be a gruesome plot against life if the doubts regarding sabotage prove to be true.
However, the presumptions so far imply that the accident was a result of an unfortunate ‘signal interference.’ Other reports state that the accident was an effect of negligence. Apparently, the “indigenously” developed automatic train protection system known as “Kavach” was not in use in the particular track on which the accident occurred which could imply that its absence may have been a cause of the inability to alert the proper authorities in time regarding a potential collision.
However, Railway officials claim that in an accident of such a massive scale, even the availability of the Kavach would have made no virtual difference. However, it is to be noted that there are serious lapses in rail safety.