Kerala train fire: Accused highly radicalised person, alleges SIT


Kozhikode: The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has been probing the train arson incident of Kerala that resulted in the loss of three lives, on Monday said the accused is a “highly radicalised” person who reached the state to commit the crime in a pre-planned manner.

ADGP (Law and Order), M R Ajith Kumar, who heads the SIT, said the accused Shahrukh Saifi used to watch radicalised videos of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and said provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, have been invoked against him based on the scientific evidence collected.

The investigation team has invoked Section 16 of the UAPA which deals with punishment for terrorist acts.

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“We went to various states and based on scientific, documentary and oral evidence collected, conducted a comprehensive probe and decided to invoke the concerned provisions of UAPA. He is highly radicalised. He saw radicalised videos of Zakeer Naik and others. He came here in a pre-planned manner to commit the crime,” Kumar told the media here.

The senior police official said the accused is 27 years old and has completed plus two education from National Open School.

He said the investigation team has found evidence in connection with the accused and the crime he committed and was probing whether he received any help from anyone else.

The investigating team, which has been granted custody of Shahrukh Saifi, had on April 12 taken him to Kannur for collecting evidence from the two train coaches of the Alappuzha-Kannur Executive Express train in which he had set fire to some passengers leading to the death of three persons, including a two-year-old child.

Saifi’s police custody is set to expire on April 18.

A Kozhikode First Class Judicial Magistrate had granted 11-day custody of Saifi to police after he was discharged from the hospital upon undergoing treatment for the injuries he suffered during an attempt to escape from the moving train.

Saifi has also confessed to the crime committed by him, according to the police.

On the night of April 2, Saifi had set his co-passengers on fire onboard the Alappuzha-Kannur Executive Express train when it reached the Korapuzha bridge near Elathur in Kozhikode.

Nine people had suffered burn injuries in the incident while three, including a toddler, were found dead on the tracks. Police suspect that they fell while trying to escape from the fire.

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( With inputs from )

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