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Blast a handiwork of extremist outfit : IG

Written by: Staff
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Siliguri/Kolkata, Nov 21 (UNI) RPF Inspector General, Malegaon, C P Nahanui today said yesterday's blast, in which seven people were killed, might have been the handiwork of an extremist organisation.

He said, '' We do not rule out the possibility of the involvement of an extremist organisation. '' Mr Nahanui admitted lack of force led to such an incident.

He said since there was no threat perception from any extremist organisation, we did not ask for more deployment of forces. But soon after yesterday's incident, it had been decided to deploy 464 more battalions of RPF in West Bengal.

A special investigation team, led by Additional Director General S Ramakrishnan, today reached the spot to probe the blast that ripped through the general compartment GS-8321 of the passenger train under North Eastern Frontier Railway (NFR).

Mr Ramakrishnan said the intensity of the bomb was very high but after investigation it will be known whether the bomb was planted or not.

At least 60 people have been injured in the blast and the condition of 25 was stated to be critical.

Two coaches of the, Haldibari-New Jalpaiguri Passenger, were to be attached to the Darjeeling Mail at New Jalpaiguri. Neither of these were hit by the blast which occurred in a general compartment.

The train was waiting to leave Belakoba station, 18 km from New Jalpaiguri when the explosion took place.

The Darjeeling Mail eventually left for Kolkata at 2200 hrs two hours behind schedule.

The blast blew to bits the fifth rake from the engine. Three doors were ripped off, and the coaches' floor turned bloody.

Unofficial sources put the toll at 12.

A massive alert had been sounded throughout North Bengal following the blast and a team of state government officials had rushed to the spot.

In 1999 a similar blast took place at New Jalpaiguri station.

UNI XC KK PA KN1935

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