Five people were killed and nine critically injured in an explosion at Bajrapara in Jalpaiguri district in north Bengal. The explosives on two bicycles went off around 7.20 pm Thursday in Bajrapara-Paharpur area.
Three victims were identified as local people. Two of the dead could not be identified. Police sources said the bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. Police believe the two were the ones carrying the bombs strapped on bicycles.
Two unidentified cyclists were crossing the bridge near Paharpur in Jalpaiguri when the bomb went off killing three passers-by. Five people were killed and nine were critically injured. They have been shifted to Jalpaiguri district hospital. We are yet to determine what kind of explosives were used. The forensic teams would reach the spot, said Sashikanta Pujara,IG,North Bengal.
We are yet to ascertain which outfit is behind the blast. Were investigating the incident, added Pujara. Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) has used bombs strapped on bicycles blasts planned by the outfit. December 26 is observed as Martyrs day by KLO,and this strengthened suspicion of a KLO hand in the explosion,said a senior police official.
The district police received intelligence inputs from state and central agencies this week that KLO could plan a major terrorist activity between December 26 and December 28. The alert was specific. And the outfit mentioned in the alert was KLO. All security arrangements were in place in Jalpaiguri. However,the blast took place four km away from the town, said a senior police official.
North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb,who was in Kolkata,refused to comment when asked if he suspected KLO hand behind the blast,saying it was a sensitive issue.
Deb said the government will do everything possible to destroy these forces and isolate them from the people through administrative measures.
Senior CPM leader and former urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya alleged that the KLO recently started subversive activities,while local farmers and workers were also living under threat in a large area in several north Bengal districts.
The state government should have been more cautious to prevent recurrence of such activities, Bhattacharya,a leader of north Bengal,said,adding that such elements were regrouping to destabilise peace in North Bengal.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee was riding on hope that the Junglemahal and Gorkhaland issues had been stemmed but Kamtapuris seem to be emerging as a new problem. During her last visit to north Bengal,Banerjee had,without naming KLO,had warned about some people trying to foment trouble with help of neighbouring states.
The blast came on the day Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung,who had spearheaded the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state,took oath of office at Raj Bhawan as Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief,marking a new phase of peace in Darjeeling.
The Mamata Banerjee government had released 52 political prisoners last year as she had promised. The prisoners included 12 senior KLO leaders. Barring a couple of leaders,all disappeared from the area leading to a regrouping of the organization.