West Bengal: Where both politicians and terrorists play with bombs
Kolkata, Oct 3: A bomb blast claimed the life of an eight year old child and nine people were injured in an explosion at Kolkata on Tuesday. The blast took place at Nagerbazar in Kolkata's northern suburbs.
A political blame game is already on and the ruling TMC has pointed fingers at the BJP, a charge that has been rubbished.
Initial investigations point towards the use of ammonium nitrate, a common substance that has been used in the series of blasts that the Indian Mujahideen carried out. This continues to be the most easily available substance for any terror group and despite restrictions, it is freely available due to its use in the agriculture sector.
Police sources tell OneIndia that the bomb had been prepared by a professional. We are not sure of the motive as yet, but the accused had used a socket bomb. A socket bomb is an improvised explosive device, Ananda Roy, the deputy commissioner of police, Barrackpore Commissionerate said.
The police at first suspected it to be a cylinder blast. However investigations found ammonium nitrate and a few nails packed into the bomb. However there have been no traces of gun powder found as yet.
Whether it was an act by a terror group or part of a political slugfest is yet to be ascertained. Bombs have been an integral part of politics in West Bengal as has been the case in Kerala.
West Bengal has over the years become the store house for bombs. The incident at Burdwan clearly showed that foreign terror groups such as the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh were operating with ease within the state. The bigger ploy at Burdwan was to manufacture nearly 500 bombs before transporting it to Bangladesh and then carrying out a series of explosions.
The discovery of bombs and using it against political rivals is extremely common.
Between 2015 and 2018 the recovery of bombs in Bengal has been exceptionally high. Close to 500 bombs from various parts of the state have been recovered.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that the situation in the state is extremely confusing.
There is a bomb factory for both terrorists and politicians. In several cases of seizures it has been found that the bombs were meant for political wars. However when it came to the Burdwan incident, it was clear that the bombs were being manufactured clearly for terror related purposes.
There is also another side of the story. The bombs have not been used only for activities within West Bengal, but in other parts of the state as well. Take for instance the recent investigations into the Bodhgaya incident. The National Investigation Agency arrested two natives of West Bengal for planting explosives at the Mahabodhi temple in Bihar's Bodh Gaya in January this year.
Incidentally they were arrested from a labour camp at Mallapuram in Kerala. Both are part of the JMB which has one of its strongest modules in West Bengal. Further investigations also showed that they were part of the Burdwan episode as well.
In the Burdwan investigations it became clear that the JMB and its operatives were working with ease in the state. They were able to procure material easily and prepared the bombs with no problem.
IB sources say that over the years bomb making has become a thriving cottage industry. Both the political parties as well as the terror employ local youth to make these bombs. They are paid in the range of Rs 70 and Rs 100 to prepare these bombs and over the years it has become a thriving industry.
Once the bombs are made, they are stocked in safe houses and then distributed as per the requirement. The sale of bombs is the highest during the elections, various incidents reported from Malda, Sattore, Birbhum and Burdwan have shown.
In 2015, a seizure of 150 bombs from Birbhum was reported. Prior to this 70 bombs were seized from Sattore, while in Malda 30 such bombs were discovered. In 2015 alone the number of bombs seized from West Bengal stood at 350.