Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jan 10:
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) this afternoon began a ‘simulation exercise’ at Odisha’s Puri railway station as part of its probe into the serial burning of train coaches at the station on November 12 last year.
The NIA with accused Ramachandran Subash will reconstruct the sequence of events in the serial burning of train bogies in which five coaches of three trains were reduced to ashes.
The reason behind the agency going for a simulation exercise is aimed to ascertain whether other persons besides prime accused Ramachandran were involved in the serial fire. It doubts capability of a single person to set as many as five bogies of three trains on fire within such limited time, said sources close the investigating team.
The NIA team led by a SP Prashant Kumar which has been camping in Puri had written to the collector to provide fire tenders and ambulances services for the ‘simulation exercise. Fire tenders and ambulances have been kept in attendance at the station. The exercise is scheduled to continue till tomorrow.
It may be recalled that a major fire had broke out at Puri Station on November 12, in which two coaches – each of Nandankanan Express, Tirupati Express and one coach of Puri-Howrah Express – were reduced to ashes even though there were no casualties. Moments later, Ramachandran was arrested from the spot with a knife, a blade and a match box.
The state government on November 26 had written to the Centre for a NIA probe into the incident given its increasing complexity.
An 11-member forensic team of the National investigation Agency (NIA) led by NIA SP Prashant Kumar comprising of a five-member forensic team from Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Kolkata arrived in Puri on December 12 last year and has been camping here since then.