The Centre has set up an expert team to look into the issue of railway safety and suggest ways to improve it in the wake of several incidents of suspected sabotage of tracks. The decision was taken at a recent meeting attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu besides others. The four-member expert team will look into the issue of security of railways and suggest ways to improve it, official sources said. Prabhu had, in the past, said there were attempts to sabotage rail tracks and carry out explosions. He had said there were seven “blast attempts” and three cases of attempted sabotage, among others.
The Railways had said there was an “unusual” jump in “sabotage” cases in 2017 with around 18 such incidents in the first 40 days of the year. There were reports of sabotage attempts by placing boulders, concrete slab, stone slab or rail pieces on tracks in Lucknow, Mumbai, Waltair, Allahabad and Malda divisions.
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n election rally at Gonda in Uttar Pradesh on February 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the Kanpur train accident in which 150 people were killed was a “conspiracy” and the perpetrators carried it out “sitting across the border” in Nepal. Fourteen coaches of the Indore-Patna Express had derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur Dehat district on November 20, 2016.