Police have identified that the blast on Friday at Belur Math in Howrah district was caused by ‘chocolate bombs’ a kind of fire crackers normally used during celebrations. However, security has been beefed up in and around the math.
“There had been an outpost here. Now, at least 4-5 police officers would be present at this place round the clock and senior officers would be visiting at regular intervals,” said a senior police officer of Howrah Police Commissionerate, looking into the incident.
Argha Mukhopadhyay, an officer with the Belur police station said that they were looking at two main possibilities. “There was a football match between Mohun Bagan and Salgaoncar that day and during that time when the incident happened, Mohun Bagan scored two goals. It could have been done by one of the Bagan supporters who did not know what the after effects could be. Another possibility we are looking into is that it could have been done by one of the sweepers or security persons who were not aware of the consequences. So far we have interrogated 14 sweepers and security guards. We are still pursuing and the process of examination is on but so far nothing has been found. We are looking at all possible angles but these two are higher up the priority order,” he said. He also said that it was a sensitive issue and they had to be very careful.
Math authorities also said they had planned to upgrade the security system according to the suggestions of the police. “There were a number of CCTVs installed but there wasn’t any at the shoes deposition stall where it happened. More CCTVs would also be installed for increased vigilance. We will put up a scanner at the entry where visitors would be frisked before they entered. A cloakroom would also be built at the entrance where people would deposit their belongings before they entered the Math. A guard rail has also been put up and the number of private security guards will also be raised,” said Shantanu Maharaj of the Ramkrishna Mission, Belur Math.
He said that there was nothing to be worried about. “We had heard a sound on April 3, at about 5.45 pm, near the shoe stall. It was later found out by the police that it was a sound of a fire cracker. Because of the prompt action of the police, devotees and visitors didn’t become panicky. There was a visitor from the ministry of coal and the district magistrate. We didn’t even realise something was wrong till the police told us that they had cordoned off the place because of the broken window pane,” he said.
There was no dearth of visitors on the day after the incident or today. “On an average we get a daily footfall of 5000 and on Sundays it is over 10,000. It had been normal yesterday and today being a Sunday, the number has crossed the 10,000 mark. The turnout showed the incident was hardly of any consequence,” Shantanu Maharaj said.
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