Blast at Hubbali Railway Station: Cops probe Kolhapur explosion link
Kolhapur, Oct 22: A day after a blast occurred at Hubballi railway station in Karnataka, police in Kolhapur in Maharashtra are investigating how the name of local Shiv Sena MLA appeared on a corrugated sheet stuck to the exploded bucket. Police are also probing if the Hubballi incident had any common link with the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway blast in Kolhapur last week in which one person was killed.
A senior police officer here said a cardboard was found stuck on the bucket with the name "Prakash Abitkar" written on it. Abitkar is the sitting MLA of Shiv Sena from Radhanagari in the western Maharashtra district. He is seeking re-election to the state assembly, elections for which were held on Monday.
"Prima facie, some low-grade explosive was kept inside the bucket that was left unattended at the Hubballi railway station," he said. When asked whether "Prakash Abitkar" mentioned on the cardboard was the same MLA, he replied in affirmative. The cardboard on the bucket read: "Prakash Abitkar, Gargoti taluka, Bhudargarh."
"We are probing the matter in two directions. We will investigate how Abitkar's name came to be written on the cardboard on the bucket. We will also probe if the Hubballi incident has had any links with the Ujalaiwadi incident in Kolhapur," said district SP Abhinav Deshmukh. He was referring to the October 18 explosion on Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway near Kolhapur in which a 45-year-old truck driver was killed.
Police are investigating whether the blast occurred after the driver picked up an object containing the explosive. Police didn't rule out the possibility that the explosive was kept by the road to kill pigs or other animals. Meanwhile, a team of Kolhapur Police was sent to Hubballi for further investigation, the SP added. Karnataka Police had said the minor blast on the railway station occurred when a man picked up an unclaimed parcel. One person was injured in the incident.