In India, over 20 people are now reported to have been killed in the derailment of a Delhi-bound mail train just outside Rewari, about 50 miles (80km) south west of the capital.
In India, over 20 people are now reported to have been killed in the derailment of a Delhi-bound mail train just outside Rewari, about 50 miles (80km) south west of the capital. The accident occurred on Wednesday (23 November) and amongst those killed was Mr. Prakash Veer Shastri, a Congress Member of Parliament.
SYNOPSIS: At least 21 people were injured in the derailment, some seriously, when the first 10 coaches of the train were derailed between Ajerka and Bawal railways stations. The accident occurred just after 5.15 in the morning, and railway officials said they suspected sabotage.
One rail had been tampered with, and a steel plate and bolt were found near the scene. It was the third serious case of suspected sabotage to running trains to have occurred during November this year.
Demands have been made in the Indian Parliament that the Railways Minister Mr. Madhu Dandavat resign, following the disturbing increase in railway accidents since the Janata Government came to power. Over 60 people were killed in three separate accidents in just one week.
Police have been investigating the possibility that some of the known Indian groups of terrorists such as the Anand Marg could be responsible for the derailment. Meanwhile tracker dogs were brought down from Delhi to help investigate the second crash of the day in which 16 people were killed, including five railway officials, after the Dehra Dun to Calcutta Express collided with a stationary goods train 75 miles (120 kms) northwest of Calcutta.
The current situation is comparable to the months that followed the railway strike of May 1974, which the then Prime Minister Mrs. Gandhi crushed. Railway officials at the time claimed that the accidents were the result of frustration among railwaymen and of generally unsettled conditions in the country which made enforcement of discipline difficult. Since the beginning of this year nearly 200 passengers have been killed in a series of accidents.