Noting that they were greatly disturbed by the Balasore tragedy, a total of 270 signatories said that it was a clear case of sabotage at the “behest of terrorist outfits“.
Days after the ghastly train tragedy in Odisha that claimed 288 lives prominent members, including retired judges, retired civil servants and army veterans have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointing at “deliberate human interference” in the Balasore train accident.
Adding that it “could be work of sabotage,” they have demanded that the truth can be uncovered only through a CBI probe.
The Railways witnessed a tragic train accident at Balasore on 2 June involving two passenger-carrying trains and a loaded goods train at Bahanaga bazar station.
Noting that they are “greatly disturbed“ by the Balasore tragedy, they said it was a clear case of sabotage at the “behest of terrorist outfits“.
There are a total of 270 signatories who said, “We are increasingly concerned at the forces at work, increasingly active, doing all they can to undermine our national security and progress. We are greatly disturbed by the tragedy that has taken place in Balasore, Orissa involving our rapidly growing and modernising Railways.
“Although [the] investigation is still underway, as per initial media reports, there are reasons to suspect that the cause of the derailment could be deliberate human interference, a clear case of sabotage at the behest of terrorist outfits,“ the letter further read.
It mentioned, “Some of us who have worked in counter-insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East have faced such situations of sabotage on the smooth plying of railway network. There were similar well-planned attempts by terrorists to disrupt railway networks in these vulnerable areas, leading to sabotage, derailment and civilian casualties.“
Suggesting “proper deployments” to stop the incidents, the signatories said, “In one of the many cases, J&K witnessed multiple attacks on railway lines from Pathankot to Jammu in 1990s and early 2000s where the tracks were severely damaged. Catastrophic accidents stopped only after proper deployment was made.“
Highlighting the fact that “Indian Railways is the lifeline of transport of goods and humans alike,” they said, “Our view is that our entire Railway network is vulnerable and is particularly so in Eastern and northeastern states, including the so-called ‘Chicken’s Neck’,” it said, adding, “It is imperative that illegal squatters, along railway tracks, including illegal immigrants be removed and stringent measures be taken to secure the safety of our railway tracks.“
Expressing their confidence in the investigation team, the signatories pledged their support to “safeguard our territorial integrity and our national security.”
Concluding the letter, they have written, “We are confident that the investigation by the CBI would identify the perpetrators of this ghastly effort to undermine public confidence in our internationally renowned railway system, at a time when India holds the Presidency of the G-20 and the nation is celebrating the 75th year of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. We pledge our full support in these endeavors to safeguard our territorial integrity and our national security.”