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POLICE IN Birbhum, which has witnessed bomb blast incidents in the recent past, have launched a massive operation to recover bombs and identify bomb-manufacturing units in the district. Over the last week, police have recovered more than 200 live bombs from different locations in the district. On May 15, at least 70 bombs were recovered from a drum and a bag in Chandipur, police sources said.
The move comes after a state government directive following the incident in Labhpur last month, in which nine people were killed while allegedly making crude bombs.
“Special emphasis is being given to prominent areas. A team from all police stations is carrying out search operations at different locations. This has been ongoing since the last week. There have been good recoveries,” said Birbhum SP N Sudheer Kumar.
Birbhum has reportedly become a hub of bomb-makers. According to sources, many villagers have mastered the art of bomb-making, and earn money by doing so, they added. Sources said political parties are behind these bomb-making units, and those involved in them are a part of some party or the other.
Police believe the bombs are manufactured to spread terror among villagers.
Nanoor and Labhpur are among the areas which are under the police scanner.
“The business of manufacturing and marketing crude bombs has been flourishing in pockets of Birbhum since 2007 when the Nandigram anti-land acquisition movement was gathering steam. Crude bombs and explosives are readily available across the district,” said a police officer.
A majority of the samples recovered by police are low-intensity explosives containing charcoal, gun powder and compounds of sulphur and lead. Fuel is also used to make bombs. Sources said the demand for socket bombs has gone up. Police sources said that two crude bombs popular in the state are those which are round and wrapped with jute fibres around a packet containing explosives, and another which are cylindrical in which iron pipes are filled with explosives and splinters.
Birbhum has seen several incidents of bomb blasts in the past. On April 22, nine people were killed while making crude bombs in Labhpur area. In February 2016, two people were killed in a blast that took place at a Trinamool leader’s house at Khairashol. In January 2016, two people, including a Trinamool Panchayat Samiti member, were killed and another injured when crude bombs stocked at their house exploded.