An explosion in Burdwan town of West Bengal on Thursday killed two people and led to a cache of arms and explosives being discovered, causing the police to suspect a terror link.
The blast occurred around noon at a house in a residential locality of Burdwan town, about 100 km from Kolkata, in the middle of the festive season of Durga Puja.
More than 50 improvised explosive devices (IED), other explosives and wires were recovered from the flat.
Shakil Ahmed (32) was killed on the spot while Swapan Mondal (22) succumbed to injuries at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital. A third, Hasan Saheb, is stable and undergoing medical treatment while a fourth male resident is absconding.
Locals told HT that fire brigade personnel were prevented from entering the house by two women, who refused to open the door. Upon breaking open the door, the police found them burning some papers.
The women -- Ahmed’s wife Rumi Bibi and Hasan’s wife Aklima Bibi – have been detained.
Security agencies are now trying to find out if the IEDs were meant to be used in Bengal or sent somewhere else. Bomb disposal squads have also recovered a number of explosives and SIM cards on the banks of the Damodar river near the town.
The six people – four men and two women – rented the house three months ago and told house owner Hasan Chowdhury that they were setting up a workshop for making Burkhas. Chowdhury didn’t check the identities of the tenants.
In his dying moments, Mondal told the police that he hailed from the East Midnapore district. Ahmed was a resident of Karimpur in the neighbouring district of Nadia and Hasan was from Murshidabad.
Burdwan police chief SMH Mirza said the police heads of Nadia and Murshidabad districts have been contacted to check the antecedents of the trio.