Odisha Train Accident Casualties: Why Are Figures Changing… Dal Mein Kuch Kala Kai, Says Mamata
Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee expressed her surprise that the casualty figures in the triple-train accident at Bahanaga Bazar in Odisha’s Balasore district had been changed.
Yesterday, a total of 288 people were announced dead in Friday’s horrific mishap involving the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, a goods train and Yeshwanthpur-Howrah Superfast Express. But on Sunday, that figure was revised to 275 “as some bodies were counted twice, at the spot and the hospital again,” informed Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena.
“How can figures differ from time to time? One number in morning, another in the afternoon.. this only leads to doubts.. dal mein kuch kala hai,” the West Bengal chief minister said at a press conference today.
Mamata, who had visited the accident site yesterday, had said the number of casualties could go up to 500, even as Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw clarified that it was 236 (till then) as per government data.
“Numbers should not be suppressed… the truth must be out,” Mamata said.
She wondered how the Railway Board had completed its inquiry so fast.
“Ek din mei investigation ho jata hai? They take 3 months to probe.. I know better than them,” Mamata claimed.
Vaishnaw subsequently announced that the Railway Board had recommended CBI probe into the accident.
Mamata and Vaishnaw differed on other issues also.
Mamata claimed that she had introduced the anti-collision device when she was Union Railway minister more than a decade ago, but is not in place now.
Vaishnaw dismissed the matter saying that Kavach, the anti-collision device being introduced in phases by the Narendra Modi government, could not have prevented this accident.
Mamata countered Vaishnaw today, saying: “He was present with me and I mentioned about anti-collision device, why didn’t he open his mouth then?”