by AAMIR MAJEED
Sources claim Fareed Express slowed down at Jumma Goth railway station unlawfully to drop some passengers
Further investigation into the collision between the Fareed Express and the Bahauddin Zakaria Express near Landhi railway station on Thursday revealed that Fareed Express slowed down at Jumma Goth railway station unlawfully to drop some passengers, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
This revelation came during the probe initiated after this accident to ascertain the causes behind the accident. It has been told that the investigation committee, constituted to highlight officials responsible for negligence, has completed preliminary report which it would hand over to Railways Minister Saad Rafique on Monday.
At least 22 people had lost their lives and over 60 had sustained injuries in the accident. However, Quaidabad police had registered an FIR 316/16 under section 320, 322, 337, 427 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Coded (PPC) against the driver and assistant driver of Bahauddin Zakaria Express on a complaint of official in charge of Fareed Express who was reportedly present inside the train during the time of collision.
A railway police (RP) official, on anonymity, claimed that the railways had no control on the private train service providers and drivers of private trains act on their will rather than following the rules.
“It is clear that Fareed Express was not standing on Landhi railway station for rest, but it was moving slowly towards the Landhi railway station after dropping some passenger at its unscheduled stop,” he clarified.
“During investigation we came to know that the driver of Fareed Express slower down the train near Jumma Goth after the staff present inside the train was bribed to stop train at its unscheduled stop,” the official said, adding that “The signal operator had given green signal to Zakaria Express after the Fareed Express left Jumma Goth railway station, but it immediately changed the signal to yellow, and then red, when he saw Fareed Express slowing down to drop some passengers.”
“The driver of Zakaria Express, which was scheduled to reach at City Station on 7:30, sped up to reach at the destination on time, but he couldn’t manage the speed when he saw slow moving Fareed Express on the turning ahead of Landhi Railway Station,” the official added. “It’s a mistake of signal operator as well because he should not have given a signal to train of equally-powered engine, immediately,” he said.
However, Divisional Superintendent (DS) Nasir Nazeer had refuted the claims of the railway police officer that Fareed Express driver slowed down the train ahead of Jumma Goth railway station to drop passengers.
“We monitor stoppage of trains strictly and we reached a consensus that Fareed Express was moving ahead towards Landhi Railway Station on its schedule,” the DS maintained. “We have prepared a report into this incident and it would be submitted to the higher-ups on Monday,” the DS added.