Even as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was applauding the Kerala Police for apprehending Shahrukh Saifi, who allegedly set ablaze passengers on a moving train, the team that brought him from Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri has come under fire for weak security compliance.
The three-member police team had to change four vehicles after three developed snags and had to wait for around 45 minutes on a road.
Three police team along with the accused started on an Innova car from Ratnagiri, and as soon as they entered the Kerala border, they shifted to another car and when travelling through Kannur district, one of the tyres got punctured. The team had to wait for around 45 minutes before another vehicle came.
Until then Saifi along with the three policemen was waiting on the road alone and it was much later that police reinforcements came.
Then came another vehicle for their onward travel and that too developed a snag and it was on the fourth vehicle that Saifi finally reached a police camp in Kozhikode around 5.45 a.m.
Saifi has been kept at a police camp in Kozhikode after arriving here early Thursday morning.
According to sources, Saifi is understood to have confessed to the police that he did this crime based on the instigation of someone else. Earlier, his father had admitted that his son had gone missing and he had registered a complaint at the local police station in Saheen Bagh in Delhi.
Saifi also admitted that it was his first visit to Kerala and on Sunday night he travelled on the same train after he set co-passengers on fire, which left three dead and nine injured.
After reaching Kannur he hid himself away from the public glare at the Kannur railway station itself and boarded another train on Monday night to Ratnagiri.
It was from there that he was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday by the Maharashtra Police after receiving inputs from Central agencies.
Saifi was first taken to the Kozhikode Medical College hospital for the customary medical check up, but so far he has not been taken in and there are reports that the medical examination might happen in a different state-run hospital before being produced at a court in Kozhikode.
According to the pictures that have come out, his face is bruised and it is understood that he suffered burn injuries when he threw petrol on co-passengers and lit them up.
All eyes are on the charges which the Kerala Police are going to put. It remains to be seen if the probe will be handed over to the NIA.