Police said Thursday they discovered the dead body of a man that had travelled undetected for 900 kilometres (560 miles) across northern India locked inside a train toilet.
They believe the man boarded the train days before it set off from Bihar state and died inside the lavatory after locking the door.
Railway police officer Ram Sahay told AFP they forced the door open on Sunday after passengers complained of the smell.
The Saharsa–Amritsar Jan Sewa Express had by then travelled for nearly 24 hours from its starting point. The entire journey takes 35 hours.
Indian media said the train was delayed for almost five hours while officers tried to check the dead man’s identity with other travellers before the journey to Amritsar was resumed.
“We still don’t know anything about the man,” said Sahay, who is posted in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh state where the grisly discovery was made.
“He likely entered the train when it was still parked in the yard and died on his own two or three days before the body was discovered,” he said.
Sanjay Rai, a doctor at the railway hospital, told The Times of India that the man “died after he slipped into a possible coma”.
The authorities have since distributed missing posters of the man around railway stations in Bihar.
Tens of thousands of dead bodies go unclaimed and unidentified in India each year. They are generally cremated by the police after three days, following efforts to identify any friends or relatives of the deceased.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari thanked the Nigerian military for their brave services in securing the release of the hostages from Boko Haram terrorists.
According to him, Buhari detoured to the hospital before boarding NAF 001 back to Abuja from the Kaduna International Airport.
Members of the Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee led by Major General Usman Abdulkadir (rtd), who facilitated the release of the train victims, were present at the hospital.
Others are Major General Adamu Jalingo (rtd), Brig.-Gen. Abubakar Saad (rtd), Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufai, Ibrahim Abdulllahi, Ambassador Ahmed Magaji and Prof Yusuf Usman, Secretary.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, had earlier introduced the Committee members and briefed the President.
“This is to confirm that Mamu, as a person of interest, was intercepted by Nigeria’s foreign partners at Cairo, Egypt on 6th September 2022 while on his way to Saudi Arabia,” the statement read.
“He has since been returned to the country, today, 7th September 2022, and taken into the Service’s custody.
“The act followed a request by Nigeria’s military, law enforcement, and intelligence community to their foreign partners to bring back Mamu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country. The public may wish to note that the law will appropriately take its course.”
Mamu has made headlines lately for his part in the release of the Kaduna train victims who were abducted on March 28.
But in August, the publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper withdrew as the lead negotiator in securing the release of the remaining train attack victims. He claimed that his life was under threat by the Nigerian government.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N718.19 million to secure the 45-kilometre Abuja rail tracks and stations.
This was disclosed by the Minister of the FCT Mohammed Bello during a briefing after the FEC meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.
“In the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of today, I presented a memo and the council approved a contract to two companies for the provision of security services for the Abuja Light Rail Mass Transit System,” the minister told reporters during the briefing.
“These companies are Messrs Al-Ahali Security Guards Limited and Messrs Seaguard Security and Protective Company Limited
“They are going to provide security to the entire 45 kilometres of track including 12 stations.
“And these security services are meant to protect the key infrastructure on the rail tracks, the signaling and communication equipment as well as the electrical system.
“Al-Ahali Security Guard Limited is going to secure 27.4 kilometres of the track, covering eight stations at the cost of N407,214,000 over a two-year period, while Seaguard Securities and Protective Company Limited are going to secure 18 kilometres of the rail tracks including four railway stations and that is at a cost of N310,979,250.”
The Federal Government’s recent move followed an attack on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line which led to the suspension of operations.
In the March attack, gunmen had planted explosives and attacked the passengers (kidnapped scores). Months after the incident, the Federal Government said it cannot recommence train services for now.
Minister of Transportation Muazu Sambo said such a move will be insensitive to the plight of families whose loved ones are still in captivity.
According to him, the government is investigating the right type of surveillance equipment to procure to effectively monitor the tracks along the Abuja Kaduna route as well as concessioning it in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
“The Lagos-Ibadan train service is running, but we have reduced the number of trips on that route because of the diesel problem. We reduced the number of trips we are running because of the hike in diesel price,” Okhiria told The Punch.
“We are now doing two return trips as against six, which by now should have gone to 10. So we run just two trips now due to the diesel problem.”
According to the NRC boss, it was outside the corporation’s powers to hike fares, despite the rising cost of operations.
He however stated that the corporation had sent recommendations to the federal ministry of transportation for an adjustment in the train fare.
“We just can’t increase it by ourselves. The government has to do that. We have made some recommendations. But even with the recommendations we made, the new price of diesel has overshot our workings as contained in the recommendations.
“However, we don’t want to price ourselves out of the market too, because the price of petrol is not increasing as such, rather the increase is little when compared to diesel price. And you know we are competing with transporters on roads, ” Okhiria added.
The price of diesel has hit N800 per litre, representing a 28 per cent increase — it sold for 625/litre in March.
“My experience is really terrible. You can see, I just finished shedding tears, tears of joy. I am happy that I am free and going to be reunited with my family very very soon,” Dr Mustapha added.
“The experience I have been through in the last four months is not something that I will like even my enemy to go through.”
The associate professor of Medical Biochemistry at the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, also said feeding was a big issue during his time in the abductors’ den.
He said there “were days we ate once a day”, calling on the Federal Government to “take whatever necessary steps to ensure the release of the remaining people”.
Tukur Mamu, a member of the team who negotiated the release of Dr Mustapha, had earlier told Channels Television that he has backed out due to threats to his life, personal integrity, and lack of support from the Federal Government.
With the recently freed victims, the number of released passengers has now swelled to 37. As of now, 35 persons are still in captivity.
But it is unclear if any ransom was paid for the recently released persons.
It is however not clear if any money was paid to the terrorists to release their abducted victims.
With the release of the three victims, the number of those still in captivity now remains at 40.
Gunmen had on March 28 blown up the rail track, killing some and abducting scores of passengers, a situation that called for serious concern about the safety of the nation’s train.
Worried about the situation, the Nigeria Railway Corporation temporarily suspended activities, with President Muhammadu Buhari directing security agencies to rescue the victims.
On Sunday, the terrorists released a viral video where they were seen flogging their hostages. They also threatened to abduct President Buhari and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
The presidency reacted to the threat hours after, accusing the insurgents of using propaganda to compel the government to yield to their demands.
In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said security forces are not helpless in stemming the tide of insecurity confronting the country.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Shehu said President Muhammadu Buhari has been supporting security agencies by boosting their morale and providing the needed equipment.
He said, “The Presidency, in the meantime wishes to reassure the public that the President has done all, and even more than what is expected of him as Commander-in-Chief by way of morale, material and equipment support to the military and expects nothing short of good results in the immediate.”
Relatives of victims of the March 28 terrorists attack on a Kaduna- bound train have accused the Federal Government and the military of sabotaging efforts to rescue their loved ones from the hands of their abductors.
The allegation by the aggrieved families comes on the heels of a new video released by the terrorists where the gunmen they threatened to kill or sell off the remaining hostages if the government fails to yield to their demands.
Reacting to the development, the aggrieved families told Channels Television that the efforts they have made to get their loved ones out from the custody of the terrorists were sabotaged by military operatives last Friday.
The military operatives are said to have blocked them from gaining access to the forest where the terrorists had asked them to come and pick up the hostages.
This the victim’s family suspect is the reason why the terrorists have issued a fresh threat to either sell or kill the victims.
Enveloped with fear and anxiety, the relatives of the hostages say the Federal Government and the security agencies have failed them.
At the family house of one of the victims, Hassan Othman, the victim’s elder brother, Sani Othman, could not hide his feelings, he accused the government and security agencies of scuttling their efforts to get their loved ones out of captivity.
Devastated, the Othman’s family queried why the military failed to grant then access to get back their loved ones and why the government has not rescued them after so long in the terrorists’ den.
Although government at various times, have assured that it will ensure the safe return of the kidnapped victims, the relatives of the hostages say they have run out of patience and have lost faith in the commitment and capacity of the government to bring back their loved ones safe and sound.
It’s exactly 121 days after terrorists attacked the Abuja-Kaduna bound train in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State.
No fewer than eight people were killed, including a young female medical Doctor, Chinelo Megafu, the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress, Barrister Musa Lawal-Ozigi and a youth leader of the ruling APC, Amin Mahmoud.
Twenty six passengers sustained various degree of injuries during the attack while 62 others were abducted. So far , 20 of the victims have been released while the fate of 43 others still hangs in the balance.
Eleven kidnapped passengers from the March 28 Kaduna train attack, who were released last weekend, have been reunited with their families.
The victims were released by their abductors on Friday, following a series of negotiations with the Federal Government after spending eleven weeks in captivity.
The eleven victims comprise six females and five males.
Upon their release, they were first taken to Abuja, the nation’s capital for debriefing, and were later brought back to Kaduna on Monday where they were handed over to their families by the military.
One of the victims, a middle-aged woman who sustained severe injury, could not stand on her own, as she is still looking pale and sick due to the trauma she had while in the custody of the terrorists inside the forest.
It is nevertheless a happy reunion for the Musawa family as they celebrate the release of their daughter, Amina, who was among the kidnapped passengers from the March 28 train attack in Kaduna state.
Although it is a breath of fresh air for Amina, her joy and that of her extended family seem not to be complete, as her husband, who was kidnapped along with her, could not make it in the first eleven. He and 50 others are still with their abductors in the forest.
Still gripped in shock by what they went through while in captivity, Amina, like the other freed passengers were unwilling to speak to us in camera.
But their relatives who obviously are happy with their return commend the Federal government for facilitating the release of the first batch of the victims
However, they are saddened that 50 other victims of the train attack are still left behind with their abductors. For their joy to be complete, they appealed to the Federal Government not to rest on its oars until all the abductees are freed.
While it might be freedom at last for these eleven passengers, their experience in the hands of their abductors will be a sad tale that they would not forest in a hurry, especially when the fate of fifty others is still uncertain.
At least 21 people were killed and dozens injured Wednesday when a train derailed near the central Iranian city of Tabas after hitting an excavator beside the track, state media reported.
The train was on its way from the northeastern city of Mashhad to the central city of Yazd and was carrying 348 passengers, according to the national rail authority, when it careered off the track in the desert at 5:30 am (0100 GMT).
Yazd province’s emergency organisation chief Ahmad Dehghan said 21 people were killed in the incident, according to the website of state broadcaster IRIB, revising an initial death toll of 17 given by national authorities.
Earlier, national emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khaledi told state television that 86 people were injured.
Khaledi had noted that the number of dead may rise, as some injured were in “critical condition”. Twenty-four ambulances and three helicopters — seen on state television airlifting casualties to hospital — were dispatched to the scene, he said.
Tabas is located in South Khorasan province, roughly 900 kilometres (560 miles) by road from Tehran. The provincial judiciary said arrest warrants have been issued for six people in connection with the accident.
The train “derailed after hitting an excavator” that was near the track, Mir Hassan Moussavi, the deputy head of Iran’s state-owned railways, told the state broadcaster.
Rescue teams inspected the overturned carriages as onlookers gathered nearby, pictures posted by the ISNA news agency showed.
One of the pictures showed a yellow excavator on its side by the track.
Five of the train’s 11 coaches came off the rails, the Iranian Red Crescent’s head of emergency operations, Mehdi Valipour, told state television.
– Investigation – President Ebrahim Raisi expressed his grief over the derailment and offered his condolences to the families of the dead.
He also issued orders for a speedy investigation into the causes of the crash, his office said.
Roads and Urban Development Minister Rostam Ghassemi apologised to Iranians on Twitter and said the ministry was responsible for the incident.
“Hitting the excavator was the main cause of the accident,” Ghassemi said, adding that initial reports indicated that the driver only braked after hitting the obstructing vehicle.
“What is clear is the human error, which is more on the part of the driver, and why and how should be investigated more closely,” he stressed.
The Tabas prosecutor visited the scene as a judicial investigation was launched, Iranian media reported.
The train derailment comes after a tower block collapsed in southwestern Iran last month killing at least 43 people.
The collapse of the 10-storey Metropol building, which was under construction in Abadan, sparked angry protests in solidarity with the families of the dead.
The provincial judiciary said it had arrested 13 people, including Abadan’s mayor and two former mayors, suspected of being “responsible” for that tragedy.
The disaster was one of Iran’s deadliest in years and sparked demonstrations across the country against authorities accused of corruption and incompetence.
In 2016, two trains collided and caught fire in northern Iran, killing 44 people and injuring dozens.
The then head of Iranian railways resigned after four of his employees were arrested following the collision on the main line between Tehran and second city Mashhad.