NSG commandos during a search operation at the home of one of the accused, Rezaul Karim, where they reportedly recovered 35 live bombs; Hara Sheikh, Khairul Sheikh and Azaur Sheikh, construction workers in Kerala, had come home to Simulia for Eid but can’t leave for work because of the probe into the blast.
AFTER the visit of NIA Director Sharad Kumar to the Burdwan blast site and a review meeting, central agencies have decided to expand the investigation and probe why Burdwan and its surrounding areas have become an explosives hub.
The separate inquiry, to be conducted by the NIA and Enforcement Directorate, will look into the funding of bomb- and explosives-making units in Burdwan and its adjoining pockets, the raw material procurement sources and the supply chain.
Even as Kumar was holding meetings with his officers on Friday over the Burdwan blast findings, Parui in Birbhum was rocked by bombs and a deadly daylight attack on the officer in-charge of the Parui police station, during raids that led to seizure of over 300 bombs.
The ED, in fact, has already started probe into the money trail of the October 2 Khagragarh blast in Burdwan, clubbing previous cases of explosions in the district in the last five years. These had also resulted in deaths.
Confirming this, a senior ED officer said a team of three people had been sent to the district and met Burdwan SP S M Mirza apart from local officers. The team visited the site of the blast as well as the home where the Khagragarh accused stayed.
The previous cases the ED is looking into include one of 2009 under the Ketugram police station in which two people were killed while making bombs, the Pandabswar police station case of 2010 in which a huge house blew up after bombs stocked there exploded, and the seizure of a large amount of arms and explosives from a Mangalkot village in 2013.
The ED will be working closely with the NIA, though the focus of its probe would be tracking the money trail and funding of the ‘bomb industry’ in the region. “The bombs in the 2009 case were not the same as in the recent blast. However, in both, countrymade bombs were used. In Kharagarh, these bombs were sophisticated with several types of chemicals which cannot be procured in the open market. We have to identify the supply chain for these raw materials and the finances,” said an official.