A massive explosion at Naihati in West Bengal today blew the roofs of some houses in the suburban town, sent two policemen to hospital, injured locals and triggered such public anger, several police vehicles were vandalized and at least two jeeps set ablaze.
A huge cloud of smoke billowed into the air after the blast and could be seen for miles.
Opposition BJP has suggested an RDX blast and demanded a National Investigation Agency or NIA probe into the explosion.
The explosion occurred when police were conducting controlled detonation of firecrackers it had recovered from a factory at Naihati that went up in flames on January 3. Four people were killed in that blaze that had also triggered some explosions on Friday.
When the so-called firecrackers were set off on the banks of the river Hooghly at Naihati this afternoon, 44 km from Kolkata, the explosion shook up a huge area, including Chinsurah town across the river. Some homes there too developed cracks.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has declared compensation for people whose homes were damaged.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “The incident sent shivers down my spine. Pictures of the blast reminded me of Hiroshima and could be heard for 15-20 miles away. You cannot cover up an explosion this size with some compensation. The police who detonated the so called firecrackers had no idea what the explosive was. Was it RDX? There is a sense of terror across the state. ”
BJP MP Locket Chatterjee who visited the spot demanded an NIA probe “What exploded was no firecracker. This could the handiwork of jihadis just like it was in Khagragarh. Bengal is sitting on a bomb and Didi can’t get away with saying it was a firecracker factory,” she said.
CPM leader Md Salim said, “In the Trinamool regime, bomb making has become a cottage industry. Party leaders are involved which is why the chief minister passes them off as fire crackers factories and a proper investigation is never carried out.”
Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee said, “We all know how many people were killed in the last regime. There has been an explosion and there will be a probe. No need to do politics over it.”