Kerala CM congratulates probe team which nabbed suspect in train fire incident


Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday congratulated the investigation team for nabbing the suspect in the Alappuzha-Kannur Express train fire incident that claimed three lives. Vijayan said that the apprehension of the assailant within three days of the incident indicates the investigative excellence of the Kerala Police and the cooperation received from various central and state agencies. He also congratulated all the police officers, who took part in the probe, and also the agencies, including Maharashtra ATS, central intelligence and the Railways, that cooperated in the probe. Meanwhile, the Kerala cabinet today decided to provide Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to the next of kin of those who died in the incident. The financial assistance would be provided from the Chief Ministers Disaster Relief Fund, it decided. The suspect – Shahrukh Saifi – was apprehended from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of that state. Kerala Police Chief Anil Kant, earlier in the day, said that it was the outcome of the combined efforts of the SIT formed here, central agencies and Maharashtra police. “The suspect has been taken into custody. Right now he is in Ratnagiri. The process is on to bring him here. He will be brought here as soon as possible,” the State Police Chief said. On Sunday night, an unidentified man set fire to passengers after pouring petrol on them when the train reached Korapuzha bridge near Elathur. Nine people suffered burn injuries and are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. The bodies of a woman, an infant, and a man, who went missing from the train after the fire, were recovered from the tracks near the Elathur railway station. Police believe they fell off the train or attempted to get down after seeing the fire. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Kerala police was subsequently formed and it had intensified its probe into the incident. According to police, the incident was probably pre-planned as he was carrying petrol in a bottle in his bag.

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