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Bengal: At least 10 Dead in Blast at ‘Crude Bomb Making Unit’ of TMC Leader in Egra

CM Mamata Banerjee claimed it was a fire-cracker unit, but local sources allege several bomb-making units are coming up ahead of panchayat elections.
Bengal: At least 10 Dead in Blast at ‘Crude Bomb Making Unit’ of TMC Leader in Egra

Image Courtesy: PTI

Kolkata: As many as 10 persons died in a blast at an alleged crude bomb making unit belonging to a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader at Egra of East Medinipur district on Tuesday. As per reports, about 14 persons were seriously injured.

The intensity of the blast was such that burnt body parts were thrown afar in Khadikul village of Sahara gram panchayat. After the blast, irate villagers allegedly attacked the local police official with whose “connivance” the illegal bomb-making unit was continuing its operation.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tried to downplay the incident and tried to lower the figures of the number of dead, alleged sources in the Opposition. She also claimed that it was a firecracker producing unit and not a bomb-making unit. 

Notably, before the upcoming panchayat elections in the state, there have been many reports of bomb-making units being unearthed. 

According to media reports, the bomb-making unit belonged to TMC leader Krishnapada Bag alias Bhanu Bag, who is said to have forcibly taken over the land of patta record holder farmer Dayanidhi Maiti and constructed a house and an adjacent factory on it. A total of 25 workers used to work in the factory and on Tuesday, three workers were absent.

Bhanu Bag was apparently inside his house when the blast happened. He is absconding in an injured condition, say unconfirmed local reports.

Of the 10 dead, five are said to be women. So far, the identity of eight persons has been ascertained. Police superintendent Amarnath K, however, said the blast took place within a firecracker producing unit.

In Kolkata, while speaking to the media, Banerjee vehemently denied that the local gram panchayet was administered by the TMC and hinted that it was BJP that was controlling it. Hence, the local situation was not exactly known to her, she claimed.

As per an eyewitness, the whole area suddenly felt a huge tremor followed by a powerful blast at 11 a.m on Tuesday. The villagers rushed to the factory and saw dead bodies lying around the debris of what was known to be the factory owned by Bhanu Bag. 

Local people also told the media that they heard that Bag was injured and had run away with help from the local ruling party leaders in a car. He is rumoured to be admitted in a nursing home in bordering state, Odisha.

It may be noted that Egra is close to the Odisha border and is known to be an area where the writ of TMC strongmen runs large. The local gram panchayat too is governed by TMC. Bag worked as the block co-ordinator of TMC in the Egra block and is said to be quite a terror in the area.

Bhanu Bag Arrested

PTI adds: The West Bengal CID on Thursday arrested the prime accused and two others from Odisha in connection with its probe into a blast at an illegal firecracker factory in Purba Medinipur district where nine people were killed in the explosion.

Bhanu Bagh, the main accused in the case, owns the illegal firecracker unit, a senior officer said. 

The owner of the factory was arrested from a nursing home in Odisha where he has been undergoing treatment after he was injured in Tuesday's blast, the CID officer said.

Bagh sustained 70% burn injuries, and was in a "critical condition", he said.

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