CBI Meant To Investigate Crimes, Not Railway Accident: Kharge To PM Modi

New Delhi: Congress President, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Balasore train tragedy.

In the letter, Kharge questioned the government on the CBI enquiry in the incident which claimed 275 lives.

“Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other law enforcement organisation cannot effectively address or hold accountable technological, organisational, and political failings alone,” the letter read.

Kharge made note of the fact that ongoing poor decision-making procedures have led to an unsafe environment for railway travel, increasing the difficulties experienced by the people.

Kharge’s letter to PM Modi stated, “Unfortunately, the people in charge—your good self and Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw—do not want to admit that there are problems. The Railway Minister claims to have already found a root cause but has yet to request that the CBI investigate. The CBI is meant to investigate crimes, not railroad accidents. The CBI, or any other law enforcement agency, cannot fix accountability for technical, institutional, and political failures. In addition, they lack the technical expertise in railway safety, signalling, and maintenance practices.”

Further criticising Railway Minister, Ashwani Vaishnaw, the Congress president called the Odisha triple train crash an eye-opener for all.

“The train accident in Odisha has been an eye-opener for all of us. All the empty safety claims of the Railway Minister have now been exposed. There is serious concern among common passengers about this deterioration in safety. “Consequently, it is incumbent upon the government to ascertain and bring to light the real reasons that caused this grave accident,” said Kharge in the letter.

Talking about the previous government’s anti-train collision system, named Raksha Kavach, Kharge wrote, “Why were the previous government’s plans to roll out the anti-train collision system, originally named Raksha Kavach, put on the back burner? This system was developed by the Konkan Railway and tested successfully by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in 2011. It was meant to prevent collisions between trains. Your government simply renamed the scheme ‘Kavach,” and in March 2022, the Railway Minister himself projected the rechristened scheme as a new novel invention. But the question still remains: “Why have only a measly 4% of routes on Indian Railways been protected by ‘Kavach’ till now?”

Kharge emphasised the importance of giving security measures and equipment installation first priority in order to prevent such accidents.

The crash occurred on June 2 at around 7 p.m. in the Balasore district. It involved a cargo train, the Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, and the Bengaluru-Howrah Express.

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