Special Secretary (Home, Internal Security) Prakash Mishra, after a one-and-half-hour long meeting with West Bengal government officials, said the Central government is treating the blast in a house at Khagragarh village in Burdwan district with “utmost importance”.
The meeting between the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the accompanying team that included NIA director Sharad Kumar, NSG director Jayanta Narayan Chowdhury and Mishra was held at Nabanna after the team returned to Kolkata from a visit to the blast site. The team also had a brief meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The NSA visit comes 25 days after the blast.
Doval, accompanied by NSG chief Jayanta Choudhury and senior officials of NIA, also visited Monday the house of Rizaul Sheikh at Badsahi road in Burdwan from where 35 hand grenades were recovered and met Burdwan Superintendent of Police S M Meerza. The team was in Burdwan for about an hour before leaving for Kolkata.
While Doval and other officers did not meet the media, Mishra said: “We are here because the Centre has taken the matter very seriously.” He went on to add that the West Bengal Chief Minister, who had one-on-one meeting with NSA Doval, assured full cooperation in the probe.
“We went to the Khagragarh blast site. The central agencies will help the state agencies and the central government will help improve its intelligence network and infrastructure in the state, Mishra added. “The Centre and the state governments will work together to fight terror,” he said.
Asked why the NSA was in Burdwan, Mishra said, “The National Security Advisor is here because he is a senior retired police officer, capable of giving the investigation a professional touch. The investigation will be taken to a logical conclusion,” he added.
However, Trinamool Congress leaders described the visit as a “politically mandated one and to keep the issue alive for some more time. Having flown over to Kolkata and then to Khagragarh, the high-level team was trying to show that the incident was linked to issues of national security”.
Sources said Mamata was given a stern message that “acute appeasement of migrants” should be stopped and the government should begin a crackdown on such outfits.