Patna: Motilal Paswan, a resident of Motihari in Bihar arrested for suspected involvement in a double-murder case, has said in confessional statement to police that he was part of a team that planted IEDs, including one on tracks in Kanpur Dehat that allegedly led to the derailment of Indore–Patna Express in November last year, leaving nearly 150 people dead. He also stated that “experts from Nepal” had carried out the work of setting up the bombs, and that Nepal resident Braj Kishore Giri, alias Giri Baba, engaged him and a few others in the task of “sabotage”.
The first IED, packed in a pressure cooker and set up on the tracks near Ghodasahan, in Bihar’s East Champaran district, did not go off. Paswan, 25, has been interrogated twice by NIA, which took over probe into the Kanpur train derailment case on February 20. The NIA probe, however, so far has not been able to corroborate any of Paswan’s claims, as made in the confessional statement.
In his confessional statement before Adapur police station in-charge Sanjeev Kumar on January 16 Paswan said he was “forced to join” the Maoist ranks in 2009 after people in his village imposed on him a penalty of Rs 85,000, and subsequently took to crime. About his alleged role in the IEDs planted on railway tracks, Paswan stated that he first met Braj Kishore Giri in Ghodashan sometime in October last year. “Giri had come with a man named Monajir Ansari and two others. The four told me, (associates) Mukesh Yadav and Gajendra Sharma about an assignment in Kanpur. Three of us accompanied Giri Baba and his associates.”
Mukesh, Gajendra and Giri have been arrested. According to the statement, “Giri Baba told us that it was an order of the outfit’s (no name mentioned) supremo Shamshul Hoda to plant bomb,” he stated. Investigators allege that Hoda is associated with Pakistan’s ISI.
About 15 days after planting the IED near Ghodashan, “we (Rakesh, Gajendra and Paswan) and the same people who had accompanied Giri Baba last time…(went) to Kanpur,” the statement said. “Our job was to help the Nepal experts. We were asked to wait some 60-70 metres from the tracks while the people from Nepal set the bomb.” The NIA is looking into three cases to find any possible links: bomb detection in Ghodashan on October 1, November 20 Kanpur derailment, and December 2 Nakardei (Raxaul, East Champaran) bomb detection.
A source in NIA said, “Motilal told us that he and his friends had kept their mobile phones switched off (when they were working on planting the bombs), and switched it on on return. (CDR) Call detail records match their versions. We also have audio proof of conversation between Giri and Umashankar Patel (from Raxaul, Bihar, who allegedly introduced Paswan to Giri) in which he rebukes him for the Ghodasahan failure and brags about Kanpur.”