West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee distributed ex gratia to the residents of her state whose relatives have either been dead or injured in the triple train tragedy in Balasore, Odisha. During the programme, Banerjee slammed the BJP-ruled Centre alleging that there were attempts to suppress the cause of the train accident in Odisha.
Mamata Banerjee also reportedly claimed in her speech at the programme that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was engaged to probe into the June 2 triple train crash but pieces of evidence have already been removed.
She was speaking at a programme organised by the West Bengal government to hand over cheques and appointment letters to the next of kin of those residents of the state who were killed or injured in the accident that occurred in the Balasore district of Odisha.
#BalasoreTrainTragedy | Efforts are being made to suppress facts. Why did this incident take place and how? What is CBI doing in this accident, didn't you (Centre) see Pulwama? Rather than investigating the train accident, CBI is going to several Municipalities and urban… pic.twitter.com/mDYvSzSfXP— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2023
The chief minister said that 103 people of West Bengal were killed in the incident and 86 of them could be identified so far. She also said that 172 suffered major injuries while 635 had minor injuries.
"There are attempts to suppress the reason behind the Balasore accident, while Delhi has sent the CBI to 14-16 municipalities," Banerjee reportedly said.
The central probe agency on Wednesday conducted raids at multiple locations in West Bengal in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in recruitment in civic bodies.
Banerjee also reportedly said, "You (BJP government) will not be able to suppress the truth. I want the truth to come out. Family members of those injured and killed in the accident also want to know the reason for the accident. The culprit behind it must face strict punishment," she said.
“I have visited Odisha twice in the last few days to provide support to injured train accident victims recuperating in various hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar,” she added.
The Coromandel Express crashed into a stationary goods train, derailing most of its coaches at 7 pm on June 2. A few of those toppled over the last few coaches of the Bengaluru-Howrah Express which was passing by at the same time.
In all, 278 people died in the accident and more than 1,200 were injured.
(With PTI inputs)