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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 22:

Odisha DGP KB Singh today ruled out the possible involvement of CPI (Maoist) in the tragic rail mishap near Kuneru in Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh late last night which killed at least 36 people.

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“There is no evidence so far regarding involvement of Maoists in the Hirakhand Express train derailment. We will inquire into the matter and Railway Safety Commissioner will also probe into the matter,” KB Singh said.

However, news agency IANS reported quoting a Railway official that sabotage cannot be ruled out in the derailment of Odisha-bound Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express train in Andhra Pradesh as the area is a Maoist stronghold.

“Sabotage is not ruled out as the area where the derailment happened was a Maoist area,” the official told IANS.

The train mishap in Maoist-affected Vizianagaram district comes a day after Union Home Ministry decided to strengthen Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s security in view of Maoist threat.

The state police in November last year had received information from the Home Ministry about the increased threat perception following the killing of 30 Maoists in a gunfight with the police in the Andhra-Odisha border area in October.

Following the killings, a letter purportedly written by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) had threatened to take revenge on Naidu.

Notably, Ram Kripal Railway Safety Commissioner (South Central Circle) under the Civil Aviation Ministry would probe into the derailment of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express, Additional Director General (ADG) Public Relations (PR) Railways Anil Saxena informed media.

On the other hand, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Railway Board Chairman AK Mittal along with other high officials of Railway Board will visit the accident site today.