On probe lapses, NSG chief gives benefit of doubt to Bengal police

Choudhury said the NSG in North 24-Parganas district would be fully constructed in the next 18 to 24 months.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: November 29, 2014 3:58:35 am
The Khagragarh house where the blast occured. (Source: Express Archive) The Khagragarh house where the blast occured. (Source: Express Archive)

NSG chief J N Choudhury Friday said the central investigating agencies have learned a number of lessons from the the Burdwan blast episode. The NSG chief also gave benefit of doubt to West Bengal Police for not being unable to unearth the existence of terror module.

“The incident occurred when the police were busy with Durga Puja and Eid… a single police station has to look after a lot of things,” Choudhury said at an interactive session on national security organised by MCC Chamber of Commerce.

West Bengal Director General of Police G M P Reddy, who was also invited to the vent, chose to give the programme where NSG chief was the main speaker a miss.

Choudhury, however, denied any non-cooperation or leniency on the part of the state government so far as probe into the Burdwan blast was concerned but added there was always scope for improvement of coordination between state and central agencies.

Asked whether the state agencies were going slow on the inputs provided by the central intelligence agencies about JMB setting up a base here, Chaudhury said, “Earlier, ULFA ultras used to hide in Bangladesh and criminals from Bangladesh used to come and hide here. This is nothing new.”

Talking about the kind of explosives used in the October 2 blast, Choudhury said, “There were media reports suggesting that RDX was used. It was nothing of that sort. Ammonium Nitrate was used in the explosives.”

Choudhury along with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar had visited the blast site at Khagragarh in Burdwan about a month after the incident.

The NSG chief said it was a known fact that Bangladeshi militants and criminals had taken refuge for long in West Bengal. “Their existence could not be detected earlier, because they always kept a low profile. You go after a thief once there is a theft. So, you can say we have learnt from the experience and I don’t think this will happen again,” he said.

Choudhury, however, refused to comment on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claims that the Burdwan blast was a handiwork of RAW,  the central government agency.

The NSG chief also refused to blame the state police that could not unearth the existence of terror modules like JMB, something that was discovered only after the NIA took over the probe.

“The blast occurred when the police were busy with Durga Puja and Eid. Most of the state police are understaffed and often overstretched. They are like general physicians so it will be inappropriate to expect them to act like super-specialists. We are the super-specialists,”  Choudhury said.

With the emergence of new forms of crimes, such as cyber crime, Choudhury advocated for a new agency on the likes of NIA to tackle crimes that have no geographical boundaries.

“After the 2011 Mumbai attacks, the NIA was formed to take up investigation related to cases concerning the security and integrity of India. We need to see if we need a similar organisation to deal with emerging crimes that have no boundaries,” he said.

Choudhury also said the NSG regional hub at Badu in North 24-Parganas district would be fully constructed in the next 18 to 24 months.

Asked about a section of ruling party leaders allegedly having links with the JMB modules, Choudhury said, “May be such things have been reported in the media. I don’t have any such information. I am not aware of any such linkage.”

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