West Bengal factory blast: Locals allege illegal unit involved in making guns, explosives
After an explosion in an illegal firecracker factory in which at least 9 people were killed, the locals accuse the state administration of not taking timely action against the factory which they say making lethal explosives and guns.
Locals in West Bengal's East Mednipur (repeat) East Medinipur district have accused the State administration of not taking timely action against the firecracker factory where nine workers were killed and several others injured in a massive blast. The locals have alleged that the unit was used to manufacture lethal explosives and guns. A massive blast took at the factory in Khadikul village under the Egra police station at 11 am on Tuesday (May 16).
"In this factory, crackers were only made for the show. Lethal explosives were made and supplied outside," said Jalhosa, a local said adding that no arrests were made so far in connection with the blast. "No one has been arrested. Had anybody been arrested public would not have been made police run away yesterday. This factory has been running for the last twenty-five years," he said.
After the explosion when police reached the site, they were attacked by locals. Another local identified as Ashok Jana, accused the police of turning a blind eye to the illegal activities of the factory.
"The owner of the factory has the police and all other concerned authorities on his payroll. If anybody here raises their voice against him he threatens them," the villager said and alleged that guns were being manufactured in the factory. "If you raid the godown of the factory you will find it," he said.
Mirthi Rani, whose nephew died in the blast said that people were compelled to work in the unit due to lack of other opportunities. When asked the factory about what are they making in the factory she said "Some highly lethal explosive substance." According to the police the factory was operating illegally and the owner had been arrested last year and a chargesheet was filed. They said that efforts are underway to arrest the accused, identified as Krishnapada Bagh alias Bhanu Bagh
The West Bengal police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has initiated a probe into the incident and investigation with the help of forensic experts after the State government handed over the case to it. East Medinipur Superintendent of Police, Amarnath K said, "Till now, 9 bodies have been recovered and efforts are being made to find out if there was any other killed in the incident. Two people seriously injured in this incident have been referred to Kolkata's SSKM from Egra Super Specialty Hospital."
"It was an illegal factory. There have been three to four cases against this factory in the past as well. It was raided many times, but the accused kept operating it. Efforts are underway to arrest the accused, identified as Krishnapada Bagh alias Bhanu Bagh," the SP said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2.5 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 1 lakh for those injured.
West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding a "comprehensive probe" into the incident. He also said that the probe should be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). "Wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to request a comprehensive investigation into the bomb blast incident in Egra, West Bengal. The blast has raised serious concern about the safety of the residents of the area and this matter needs serious attention," Majumdar said in a tweet.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)