statesman news service
RAIGANJ, 27 JUNE: Three persons died and nine others were injured when several bombs supposedly stockpiled in a godown in connection with the coming rural polls exploded near Vivekananda More in the Kaliaganj police station area of North Dinajpur district around 10 p.m. yesterday.
Some of the houses near the godown and an eatery (dhaba) were badly damaged in the series of explosions. Locals ran helter-skelter after the blasts.
All the deceased and injured were labourers.
The deceased were identified as Bablu Sarkar (58), Bidhu Barman (37) and Tanka Das (22).
Bablu was a resident of Hospitalpara in Kaliaganj while Tanka Das and Bidhu Barman were from Sudarsanpur in Raiganj and Bhandar village in Kaliaganj, respectively.
The injured were identified as Bhakskar Saha, Kalu Saha, Ranjit Debsharma, Anil Rajbanshi, Sanjit Debsharma, Ajen Barman, Ajanta Barman, Gopal Saha and Narayan Saha. Seven of them are undergoing treatment at Raiganj District Hospital.
Two others were admitted to Kaliaganj State General Hospital.
Gopal Saha, one of the injured, said from the hospital bed: “The explosion occurred when we were busy unloading maize in the godown from a lorry. I lost sense instantly.”
Another injured, Joy Gobinda Saha, said: “Our house is around half-a-km from the spot. We heard bombs exploding for around 15 minutes. Fire and smoke engulfed the area. People in panic started running hither and thither.”
A blame game, as usual, started over the explosion. The North Dinajpur district BJP committee secretary, Mr Pradip Sarkar said the owner of the godown Mr Dulal Dutta is a TMC member.
“Some goons backed by the ruling party had stockpiled the bombs in the godown to be used to scare away the people and the opponents during the rural polls,” he added.
The Congress MLA from Kaliaganj, Mr P N Roy, demanded the culprits be arrested promptly.
However, the state Trinamul Congress secretary, Mr Ashim Ghosh said his party has no connection with the owner of the godown.
“Some political parties are using the incident to malign us. We are convinced that the Congress-led Kaliaganj municipality board is behind the incident. We demand the criminals be arrested,” he said.
The Superintendent of Police, North Dinajpur, Mr Akhilesh Chaturvedi, visited the spot.
“We have started an investigation into the nature of the explosives kept in the godown. No one has been arrested yet. We are on the lookout for those involved in the stockpiling of bombs,” he added.