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Posted at: Nov 22, 2016, 1:41 AM; last updated: Nov 22, 2016, 1:41 AM (IST)

Won’t spare guilty: Prabhu

Indore-Patna train passenger who claimed strange wheel sound told to depose
Won’t spare guilty: Prabhu
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 21

Announcing a thorough investigation into the Indore-Patna Express derailment tragedy, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu informed the Lok Sabha today that anybody found “guilty” for the mishap will get “strictest possible punishment”. 

 Prabhu's assertion came as railway officials visited ill-fated train’s passenger Prakash Sharma, who claimed that he had informed a railway 

officer about the strange sound of the wheels, and asked him to depose before a competent authority.

In a statement in the House amid noisy protest by the Opposition against the government’s demonetisation move, Prabhu said the investigation would be done based on latest technical and forensic analysis. 

The minister also promised that the exercise, which was announced in the last rail budget, to replace old coaches lacking crash-worthy features would also be expedited.

“Strictest possible action will be taken against the proven guilty,” the minister, while expressing “profound grief” over  the tragedy, said.

Prabhu also gave details of the relief and rescue operation launched by the railways. He along with the Railway Board Chairman visited the spot and interacted with the injured. Several other top officials including his junior Manoj Sinha, also visited the site.

An enhanced ex-gratia of Rs 3.5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 to the grievously injured and Rs 25,000 to those with simple injuries and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced an additional amount of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 50,000 for the kin of the killed and those injured, he said.

Old-technology coaches in operation lack the crash-worthy characteristics of modern coaches, Prabhu said. “I had informed this House during the Railway Budget that such coaches will be progressively replaced and phased out. This will be expedited,” he added.

Unknown railway staff booked 

Lucknow: An FIR was registered on Monday against unknown railway personnel in connection with the Indore-Patna Express derailment under Section 337 of IPC (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 304-A (causing hurt), and Section 154 of Railway Act. PTI

(With PTI inputs)

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