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Officers suspect IED used in bomb blast, injured minister may be operated again

The bomb went off when West Bengal Minister of State for Labour Jakir Hossain and his supporters were waiting to board a train to Kolkata from platform no 2 of Nimtita railway station on Wednesday night.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
February 20, 2021 9:10:20 am
Officers suspect IED used in bomb blast, injured minister may be operated againThis photo shows West Bengal minister Jakir Hossain seconds before the blast. (File photo)

A five-member forensic team on Friday visited the crude bomb blast site in Murshidabad where West Bengal Minister of State for Labour Jakir Hossain and his supporters were injured, and recovered a mobile phone and a circuit. It is yet not clear who carried out the attack, but sleuths suspect that an improvised explosive device (IED) might have been used in the blast.

The bomb went off when Hossain and his supporters were waiting to board a train to Kolkata from platform no 2 of Nimtita railway station on Wednesday night.

Hossain, who suffered severe injuries in his right leg and left hand, was still critical, said a source at state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata where the minister was admitted.

Hossain had already undergone one operation and may be operated again, said the source. Of the 14 supporters who were injured, one of them was shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital on Friday. The injured will remain under observation for the next 48 hours before a decision is taken on the next line of treatment.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had met Hossain at the hospital. Banerjee called the blast a conspiracy and said a political party was pressuring the minister to join it while Dhankhar sought an investigation by the National Investigating Agency (NIA).

Minister Firhad Hakim on Friday said, “One Minister walks towards the platform where bombs were planted. As he reached, suddenly electricity was turned off. An explosion happened and the minister got injured. His supporters were also seriously injured. Why did such an attack take place? Murshidabad has turned into a stronghold of the TMC; hence, some people are trying to create fear. Is this India or Ramghar of Gabbar Singh?”

However, railway officials denied that the electricity was turned off.

“They can say anything but there was electricity at the railway station when the incident took place. We had normal deployment of RPF (Railway Police Force). The state government had not shared any information about the minister’s movement with the Railways,” a railway official said.

State Congress chief and MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the explosion.

“The probe should be handed over to the CBI. The state police isn’t capable of apprehending the accused. Jakir Hossain’s link to cattle smuggling is not new. Many in the TMC didn’t want Jakir to contest election this time. It is so unfortunate that such a big incident took place, but the police couldn’t arrest even one suspect.” Union Home Minister Amit Shah had also demanded a CBI investigation.

The state government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) led by Anuj Sharma, Additional Director General of Criminal Investigation Department, for probe. The SIT is being assisted by other wings of the state police.

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