Showcause notices served to seven police officers

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Kolkata, Nov 5 (UNI) The Superintendent of Police of West Midnapore district today showcaused altogether seven police officers, including two Deputy Superintendents of Police, in connection with the landmine blast that narrowly missed West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on November 2.

''Altogether seven police officers have been served with showcause notices on the charge of dereliction of duty,'' Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told reporters.

Those who have been showcaused also include one Additional Superintendent of Police, one Sub-Divisional Police Officer, one District Investigating Officer and the Officer-in-Charge of Salboni police station.

Earlier, three policemen, including a Sub-inspector, were suspended.

Mr Kanojia said seven persons, who had already been arrested for having suspected links with Maoist ultras, were remanded to police custody by a court today.

The blast, suspected to have been triggered by the underground Maoists, took place in the convoy of Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasad at Bhadutala, minutes after the Chief Minister's motorcade passed the area. All of them were returning to Kolkata after the foundation-laying programme for a steel plant at Salboni.

Though all the Ministers escaped unhurt, altogether six policemen, escorting the convoy, were seriously injured.

Police later said the Chief Minister was the target of attack of the underground extremists.

While Director General of West Bengal Police A B Vora is personally investigating the case, the state Human Rights Commission asked Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb to start an inquiry into the blast and submit a report within three weeks.

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