After a joint team of Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad and Central Intelligence arrested the suspect of the Kozhikode train fire incident from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra on Wednesday, an eyewitness of the horrific incident spoke exclusively with the Republic. The eyewitness boarded the train along with his friends and noticed the suspect, identified as Shahrukh Saifi, carrying two petrol bottles in the train compartment where the incident occurred.
He said, "We were 6 people travelling together on the same train. We were sitting in the 4th row of the D1 compartment. As the 4th row was suffocating, we thought we can shift where the leg space is fine. At around 9:07 pm the train left the Kozhikode station."
"When I was facing towards the corridor along with my friend, that connects the D1 compartment with the D2 compartment, I saw one person coming in a red shirt to the D1 compartment. I saw him carrying two petrol bottles. When I noticed the same, as it's not normal to carry petrol on train, he was removing the bottle cap. Following which the entire incident took place," he added.
Meanwhile, the suspect has now been nabbed and sent to Kannur for further investigation by Kerala police, Maharashtra ATS said. While commenting on the legal actions against Shahrukh, his father Fakruddin said, "If he has committed a crime, then he should be punished."
#WATCH | "If he has committed a crime, then he should be punished,"says Fakruddin, father of Shahrukh Saifi, the suspected accused in the Kozhikode train fire incident pic.twitter.com/vJddlKfS4M— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2023
According to reports, the suspect had poured petrol on a passenger and set fire inside the D1 compartment of the Alappuzha-Kannur Mail Executive Express train near Elathoor in Kozhikode district in which three people lost their lives. The incident also led to burn injuries to eight other passengers.
He escaped after passengers pulled down the emergency chain and the train slowed down. The passengers immediately alerted the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and doused the fire. Subsequently, Kerala Police came across three bodies on the railway track which was near the spot where the incident happen. It's believed that they attempted to get off the train after seeing the fire. All three, including a woman, a child and a middle-aged man, had no burn injuries, police said.