“I know there was an illegal cracker factory in the area. I can assure you that it has nothing to do with Trinamool…,” was the reply of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a Press conference at Nabanna immediately after the news of bomb blast in Egra, East Midnapur surfaced. According to prima facie reports, nine people were killed officially. However, opposition claimed over 22 are feared dead.
People in the region were traumatised to hear a massive blast around 11 am in the morning. A massive blast took place at the factory in Khadikul village under the Egra police station. According to the police, the factory was operating illegally and the owner had been arrested last year and a chargesheet was filed. They said that efforts are underway to arrest the accused, identified as Krishnapada Bagh alias Bhanu Bagh.
Bharatiya Janata Party state President Dr Sukanta Majumdar said, “I earnestly request your kind intervention to direct the NIA to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the Egra bomb blast,” Majumdar said. Majumdar shared the letter on his Twitter handle he wrote.
Leader of Opposition and Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari Tweeted, “This is the IC of Egra; Mr. Mousam Chakraborty. He is the one to be blamed for today’s horrific incident. The Mamata Police cadre was on the payroll of the perpetrator Krishnapada Bag.
The situation is grave and this was brought to the notice of the Mamata Banerjee in 2014, the powerful bomb blast had rocked Khargragarh. National Investigation Agency (NIA) Chief Ajit Doval had personally visited the place with his team. However, the state Chief Minister as always showed her defiance and made Doval understand that NIA was not welcome. Later, a special NIA court sentenced 19 people in Kolkata, convicted in the 2014 Burdwan blast case to varying jail terms. Those sentenced include four Bangladeshi nationals, who received a jail term of ten years. The punishments for the remaining convicts range from 6-10 years. The NIA team had also unearthed live bombs submerged in the water. Doval in his report had said that a large number of houses are employed in making bombs. He expressed his anguish that this may result into a serious bomb fiasco in future Banerjee had accused Doval and NIA of vindictive politics.
Years later in 2018, a bomb blast had rocked in Dum Dum’s Nager Bazar in North Kolkata. A seven-year old boy succumbed to his injury. Injured were removed to hospital. This incident once again raised questions at the planned module of bomb politics especially across Murshidabad, Berhampore, Midnapore and areas adjoining Bangladesh border. Once again, news-hounds repeated Kharagarh rhetoric, raised what NIA Chief Doval had warned in 2014. (My story from the archive).
Tuesday’s blast has once again raised those old questions. Dr Majumdar’s demanding NIA probe has reminded Doval’s conviction in 2014 when he wanted to sanitise the slipper cells active as he then called West Bengal is sitting on bombs.
According to BJP leader who had visited the place on Wednesday said,
The locals have also claimed that the local administration ignored their repeated pleas for action to be taken against the illegal fire crackers factory that has grown in the area.
Bengal Leader of Opposition (LOP) and BJP leader, Suvendu Adhikary had squarely accused the police for this blast in his tweet, “This is the IC of Egra; Mr. Mousam Chakraborty. He is the one to be blamed for today’s horrific incident. The Mamata Police cadre was on the payroll of the perpetrator Krishnapada Bag. Mamata Police personnel Surajit Sinha & Biswajit Maity acted as emissary between the two. They collected Rs. 50,000/- every month from the perpetrator in exchange for the ‘licence’ & immunity for carrying out illegal activities such as stocking up explosives. Also look how the Regional Tola-Mool Party workers are shifting the dead bodies.”
Adhikari on Wednesday tweeted after coming from Egra and meeting the affected people,