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Kerala Police releases picture of suspect who set passengers on fire in moving train

The picture of the suspect who set his co-passengers on fire inside a moving Kannur-bound train was made from CCTV footage that was recorded around 11.30 p.m. on Sunday night

Published Date – 04:00 PM, Mon – 3 April 23

Kerala Police releases picture of suspect who set passengers on fire in moving train

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Police on Monday released the picture of a suspect who set his co-passengers on fire inside a moving Kannur-bound train.

The release of the picture of the suspect was made from CCTV footage that was recorded around 11.30 p.m. on Sunday night, two hours after he set ablaze the passengers on the Alappuzha-Kannur Executive Express.

Apart from the CCTV, information about the suspect was gathered from eyewitnesses who travelled in the compartment, and managed to help douse the fire.

Earlier in the day, State Police chief Anil Kant told the media that they got vital clues and the case will be cracked soon.

Similarly, national agencies like the NIA have also initiated a preliminary probe into the incident.

On Sunday night, three passengers who are believed to have jumped off the Alappuzha-Kannur Executive Express, were found dead on the track. A two-year-old and his aunt were among the deceased.

According to sources, when the train was about to cross the Korapuzha bridge between Kozhikode and Kannur stretch around 9.30 p.m., a middle-aged man sprayed petrol on passengers and set them ablaze.

Nine passengers, who suffered burn injuries, are undergoing treatment at a Kozhikode hospital, where the condition of three is stated to be serious.

Passengers, who witnessed the gruesome incident, said the culprit was a bearded man in a red-coloured shirt. He came from the D2 compartment into the D1 compartment and committed the crime.

Soon after the incident, other passengers pulled the chain and stopped the train.

The accused then jumped off the train and disappeared under the cover of darkness.

This morning, the CCTV footage showed the accused riding pillion on a bike around 50 metres away from where he jumped off the train.

A bag and a switched off mobile phone were recovered from the spot.

Meanwhile, police sources pointed out that the mobile phone that was recovered from the railway track did not have a SIM, but it has been found out by the probe authorities that the phone was last used on March 30.

The bag contained a piece of paper with a note in English and Hindi about places in nearby Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari. It also had a pair of dress, spectacles, and a bottle containing petrol.

State BJP president K. Surendran said the CCTV visuals indicate that it is the handiwork of anti-national forces. A detailed probe has to be carried out.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has condemned the incident and said the police will be able to bring the suspect to book and assured that the treatment of the injured will be taken care of.

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said that this is an unheard of incident and hence the state and central agencies should jointly conduct the probe to instil confidence in the minds of the travelling public.

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