Kozhikode train arson case: NIA submits chargesheet; terms incident as 'jihadi act'

NIA probe
NIA has taken over the probe into the case on April 18, 2023. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has submitted chargesheet in the Kozhikode train arson case in which Delhi native Shahrukh Saifi (30) is named as the key accused. According to NIA, the accused who was attracted to Jihadism through social media plotted the crime as a Jihadist act. The chargesheet also pointed out that the accused committed the crime alone.

Police inspects the coach in which the man attacked his co-passengers. Photo: Manorama

The NIA team submitted the chargesheet before the special NIA court in Kochi on Saturday. The probe team has slapped charges under the UAPA act and destruction of public property against the accused.

NIA has found that Shahrukh Saifi was attracted to jihadism and extremism after watching videos of various religious leaders from countries like Pakistan. He had chosen Kerala to execute the crime thinking that no one would recognise him.

Earlier, the Special Investigation Team of Kozhikode police also found that the accused was highly radicalised and pointed out on his habit of watching videos with radical content.

Shahrukh Saifi,
A slip from the train led to the arrest of Shahrukh Saifi, the suspect in the Executive Express arson attack case. Image: Onmanorama

The incident
It was on April 2, 2023, that Shahrukh Saifi had reportedly set fire to passengers on the moving Alappuzha-Kannur Executive Express after pouring petrol on them when the train reached Korapuzha bridge near Elathur in Kozhikode. Nine people suffered burn injuries and three people including a child were killed while fleeing from the attacker. The accused who had fled from the scene was arrested two days later from Ratnagiri by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.

The Special Investigation Team of Kozhikode Police has slapped murder charges against the accused in the case. NIA took over the probe into the case on April 18 to investigate the alleged terrorist link in the case. 

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