Father of witness in Kerala train arson case found hanging

Father of witness in Kerala train arson case found hanging

Kochi | A 45-year old Delhi resident, father of a witness in the recent Kerala train arson case, was found hanging in a hotel room here on Friday, police said.

Police said Mohammed Shafik and his son reached the state on May 16 to give a statement in connection with the train arson incident that happened at Kozhikode in April.

"He (Shafik) and his son reached the state to record their statement in the case. The statement recording was complete and they were planning to go back to Delhi. But his son saw him hanging inside the bathroom," a senior police official told PTI.

Police said the witness was summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as part of its probe. The witness had appeared before the agency on May 17 and 18.

The case, registered under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Railway Act and Explosive Substance Act, was recently taken over by the NIA's Kochi unit.

Three people, including a baby, died in the train arson incident in Kozhikode district, which had shocked the country.

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

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

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