Odisha train tragedy: Signal junior engineer goes missing with family after CBI interrogation

Odisha train tragedy: Signal junior engineer goes missing with family after CBI interrogation

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CBI reached the rented house of Signal Junior Engineer Amir Khan on Monday but found it locked and the entire family missing. The house was later sealed by the officials.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday sealed the rented house of Soro Section signal junior engineer (JE) as it continues to probe the Odisha triple train tragedy in which 289 people lost their lives. Indo-Asian News Service on Monday reported that the JE, named Amir Khan, was initially interrogated by the CBI at an undisclosed location. When the agency officials reached Khan’s rented house in Soro on Monday, they found it locked and the entire family missing. 

Later, the CBI sealed the rented house. As per the report, two officials from CBI are keeping a close watch on the house. 

What’s the role of a signal JE in the Indian Railways?

The signal JE is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of signalling equipment, including signals, track circuits, point machines, and interlocking systems. Overall, they play a critical role in ensuring smooth and safe train operations round the clock. 

Now, it becomes important to note that railway officials insist the Odisha train tragedy was a result of “deliberate interference with the electronic interlocking system.” The Times of India quoted the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM)of Khurda, Rinkesh Roy, as saying, “You get green signal only after fulfilling all the pre-conditions such as whether the route is set and everything is right. Even if there is a minor problem, technically, there cannot be a green signal in any circumstance; it becomes red. It can’t go green unless and until someone has tampered with it, someone has physically tampered with it.”

CBI probe to continue

The investigation into the train accident that occurred in Balasore, Odisha was taken over by the CBI on June 6. The CBI had already initiated a First Information Report (FIR) in relation to this incident. The involvement of the CBI, in this case, came about due to allegations of tampering with the electronic interlocking system following the accident.

The electronic interlocking system is responsible for providing information about the status of trains, and concerns of deliberate sabotage were raised by officials. As the investigation progresses, it is likely that the expertise of railway security and forensic specialists will be required, as the CBI officials assigned to the case may not have extensive experience in handling railway-related matters.

According to official sources, an investigation is underway to determine the potential involvement of five railway employees, which includes the station master at Bahanaga Bazar.

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