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Gangmen and lower level officials will be tried for Rail mishap as Sr Officials are not accountable for negligence

Railway officials, including senior officers of Northern Zone who were sent on leave or suspended after the derailment of Utkal Express near Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh last month have rejoined work on September 19. The lower level officials including gangmen alone will be tried for negligence which resulted in the accident and caused loss of lives.

The railway administration, however maintained that the senior officers were not directly responsible for the accident, according to inquiry conducted by commissioner of railways safety (CRS).

The mishap, caused due to negligence of railways staff on August 19, killed 23 people and left several passengers injured.

Northern Railways general manager R K Kulshrestha and divisional railway manager (Delhi division) R N Singh, who were sent on leave in wake of the accident, are back at work. Sources said the senior officials will never be directly responsible for the accidents since the gangmen and lower level functionaries are out on the field.

The move came after preliminary findings of CRS, which was probing the accident, fixed primary responsibility on some lower level officers and employees who have not been exonerated and are still facing strict action, said an official.

The suspensions of Senior Divisional Engineer and Assistant Engineer of Delhi division were revoked after issuance of a minor charge sheet.

A Senior section engineer and a Junior engineer remained suspended while 13 employees, including a junior engineer and 11 gangmen, who were removed from service for "dereliction of duty", have failed to get any relief.

Member (Engineering), Railway Board, a Secretary level officer, A K Mittal had already joined duty on August 30, a day before his retirement to ensure there is no break in service for him.

Having established negligence to be the cause of the derailment on August 19, the railways cracked the whip sending some top officials on leave and suspending others. The then railway minister Suresh Prabhu had also offered to resign after another derailment, claiming moral responsibility for the mishaps. While the minister has moved to another assignment, the top officials have resumed work.

As usual in case of any railway accident, the lower level officials will bear the brunt for negligence which caused the derailment and loss of lives.

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