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Banga bang bang: Where bombs are symbol of political strength in Bengal

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    The findings in Burdhwan in West Bengal had left the nation shocked. A huge ploy was unearthed in 2014 were members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) were preparing bombs and were planning on shifting it to Bangladesh.

    Banga bang bang: Where bombs are symbol of political strength in Bengal

    A year later 150 bombs were recovered from Birbhum and looking at the numbers it became clear that bombs are manufactured in huge numbers.

    While the number of bombs recovered in the Burdhwan incident was 500, the year 2015 saw the seizure of 350 crude bombs.

    Early this morning 10 crude bombs were recovered near the Dum Dum airport. One bomb in fact triggered off causing an injury. The bombs as per preliminary investigations were being moved to a location and were to be used in the election process. West Bengal is no stranger to explosions in an election year and it has been one of the favoured weapons to fight political rivals.

    Bombs have always been a symbol of strength for the political parties in the state. The high demand for bombs has led to the opening of cottage industries across the state. Most of them are found largely in the bordering areas as it serves a dual purpose. Terrorists too have joined the bandwagon and continue to take advantage of the lax security system. Most of these cottage industries enjoy political patronage as a result of which activities in such cottage industries go undetected on purpose.

    Right from a village panchayat election to a Lok Sabha polls, several political parties have used bombs as a tool to fight their opponents. In several cases, it has been found that cottage industries have been set up to make bombs.;

    Terror bombs meant to kill innocents has also become a thriving industry. The Burdhwan episode was a sign of this. In this case, we, however, got to see a full-fledged module from Bangladesh being set up in West Bengal.

    It was not difficult for these persons to source and make the bombs considering the fact that there was already a thriving market for the same. The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen operatives had easy access to material and this helped them make over 150 bombs.

    Investigations have shown that bombs are being made in illegal cottage industries in West Bengal. There are several labour who have been roped in for the job.

    These are not skilled labour, but unemployed youth have been hired to prepare the bombs. These industries also have a large number of Bangladeshi illegal immigrants.

    Investigations show that the job of these persons is to prepare bombs and they are paid around Rs 70 per day. Their only brief is to prepare as many bombs as possible.

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