3 arrested in Siliguri blast have Bhutan connection

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Siliguri, Apr 4 (UNI) Three people were arrested from near the Indo-Nepal border today in connection with yesterday's blast near Siliguri Circuit House at Samarnagar under Champasari area here.

Inspector General (North Bengal) R J S Nalwa said one Dipen Rai, alias Akash, was arrested along with two others while they were trying to enter Nepal.

Akash had several burn injuries and was bleeding profusely when he was arrested.

Mr Nalwa said he was among the four involved in yesterday's blast in which three people were killed.

''The explosion occurred at about 1300 hrs in a tin roofed rented house and a large number of explosive devices were recovered from the spot,'' he said, adding a forensic team from Kolkata had reached the spot to ascertain the type of explosives used.

However, he ruled out the presence of RDX as then the blast would have caused more damage.

He further said during interrogation Akash revealed that he was a Bhutanese refugee from Beldangi Refugee camp-2 in Nepal's Jhapa district and was staying with the other victims in Siliguri for the last few months.

Furba Tamang and Karna Bahadur Rai, who were arrested along with Akash, were also being interrogated. They were helping Akash cross the border.

During interrogation, the three revealed that they, along with the deceased, had planned to trigger an explosion in Bhutan.

However, the explosives went off accidentally yesterday killing their three friends.

They said they belonged to refugee camps in Nepal and wanted to return to Bhutan, their homeland.

About one lakh sixty thousand Bhutanese refugees are staying in seven camps scattered across India and eastern Nepal. They fled their country in the early 1990s after the enforcement of a citizenship act, adopted there in 1985.

According to UNHCR's the State of the World's Refugees 2006 report, in 1985 the Bhutanese government established new eligibility requirements for citizenship that effectively disenfranchised many ethnic Nepalis, depriving them of their citizenship and civil rights.

UNI XC PP PL SB BST1500

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