The home ministry is expected to take a call on the NIA taking over the case on the basis of the agency’s preliminary report.
Kerala train attack case accused Shahrukh Saifi brought to Kozhikode from Ratnagiri
The NIA and other central agencies tracking the probe by Kerala Police’s SIT believe the nature of the arson involving Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh resident Shahrukh Saifi, who was arrested in Maharashtra last week, suggests the plan was to set the entire D1 compartment of the train ablaze. A two-year-old girl was among the trio who died trying to escape the fire, while nine others suffered burns.
The NIA report suggests that Shahrukh’s contacts in Delhi and Noida need to be probed to find out the motive behind the attack and also if he had links with any radical outfit. SIT officers are liaising with the special cell of Delhi Police to gather information about Saifi’s acquaintances in Delhi and Noida by analysing his call records, questioning his friends and examining footage from CCTV cameras near his house.
An NIA team comprising officials from Kochi and Chennai has been collecting details of the arson alongside the SIT probe ordered by the Kerala government. The DIG of the agency’s state unit was in Kozhikode last week to take stock. An NIA team examined the train compartment in which the arson occurred.
Kerala train attack case: Accused Shahrukh Saifi began getting radicalised a year ago, say cops
Shahrukh confessed to spraying an inflammable substance and starting the fire, insisting he was alone in carrying out the attack. SIT officials suspect he has been withholding information.
The probe is now focused on Saifi’s activities and movements during the 14 hours he spent at Shoranur, soon after he arrived in Kozhikode by the Sampark Kranti Express on the morning of April 2.
The SIT has examined CCTV footage from the fuel station at Shoranur from where Saifi had purchased petrol. The police have also traced the driver of the auto that took him there.