A crude bomb exploded at the crowded marketplace in Dumdum on the northern fringes of Kolkata Tuesday morning, killing a seven-year-old boy and injuring nine others and triggering a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP.
Bibhas Ghosh died at SSKM Hospital, said Purnendu Bose, minister of technical education and local MLA. The child’s mother, who was also injured, is being treated at the same hospital.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed the blast was caused by a bomb of low intensity,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, commissioner of Barrackpore Police.
The explosion that took place around 9:15 am, was a strong one that shattered the glasses of adjoining buildings. A shutter near the site was partially mangled by the explosion.
The injured were taken to state-run R G Kar Medical College and Hospital, SSKM Hospital and a local private hospital.
Bose alleged the attack was planned and said BJP could be involved in it. “The incident was planned. Those who kept the device here certainly designed it to engineer the blast at a predetermined time. At this time, Trinamool Congress leaders and workers assemble at the ward office here. It appeared to me that It cannot be done by the CPI(M) or Congress. There is no question of the ruling party causing it. The only needle of suspicion points towards the BJP, with whom CPI(M) and Congress may have links,” he said.
Pachu Roy, chairman of South Dumdum municipality, indicated it might be the handiwork of the saffron camp.
“Today is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. I won’t be surprised if those who killed him have a role behind this incident. Dumdum is an old centre of their activity,” alleged Roy, who wondered whether he was the target. The explosion took place close to the ward office where Roy comes for about an hour every morning.
The BJP promptly rubbished the TMC’s claims.
“Blasts are taking place close to the Trinamool offices. The ruling party offices have become the den of anti-socials. Be it in Khagragarh, West Midnapore, Birbhum or Dumdum, all explosions are taking place inside or close to Trinamool offices. It’s ridiculous that ruling party leaders are blaming the BJP,” said Dilip Ghosh, chief of the BJP’s Bengal unit.
The Left too blamed the TMC for the blast.
“The current regime has turned life in the entire city in a nightmare. Bridges are collapsing, markets are gutted and explosions are taking place that killed an innocent child. The Trinamool leaders are alleging they were the real targets of the blast. Let me ask, what were the police doing,” remarked Left leader in state Assembly Sujan Chakraborty.
The bomb squad of Criminal Investigation Department officers visited the spot and collected samples from the spot including a bag and splinters as part of the investigation.
Initially, locals thought the blast could have been that of an LPG cylinder. Quite a few splinters were available at the spot.
“There is no smell of gunpowder. We are investigating. Many persons were injured,” said the police commissioner who rushed to the spot after the explosion.
On October 2, 2014, a blast in a two-storied building at Khagragarh in Burdwan town, about 105 km to the north of Kolkata, exposed a flourishing network of terror elements of Jamaat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh, a banned organisation in the neighbouring country, in the districts of Bengal.
The investigation by NIA exposed how the terror elements had spread their tentacles in districts such as Burdwan, Nadia, Birbhum and Murshidabad and were involved in plotting to overthrow the Sheikh Hasina government in Bangladesh.