Even six deaths, two of CID bomb squad employees, have not been a deterrent. On May 1, four Trinamool activists were killed at Jainpur village in Baishnabnagar of Malda district when plastic ball bombs they were making exploded. The following day, two CID officials succumbed to splinter injuries when bombs exploded when they were searching for bombs without adequately dressed in protective gear.
But it seems the explosions and deaths have failed to shake Malda police out of their slumber.
The manufacturing of plastic ball bombs is going on in broad daylight inside bamboo gardens or mango orchards of Baishnabnagar, and the bombmakers are giving the slip to the police easily.
Sources told HT that criminals of Baishnabnagar are hiring plastic ball bomb-making experts from Munger district of Bihar and smuggling the raw materials for the bombs from Bangladesh.
One such den of bomb making is along the India-Bangladesh border at Baishnabnagar. Here, “explosive” experts regularly sit inside a bamboo garden on a riverbank and make the lethal plastic ball bombs. Busy at their work, the bomb-makers are guarded by carbine-toting goons.
On May 1, in the wee hours of night, Giyasuddin Sheikh and others under the leadership of local Trinamool gram panchayat member Kamal Sheikh were making bombs. But in an accidental explosion, Kamal and three others died on the spot and several others were injured.
The CID’s bomb disposal unit went to the village in the afternoon. At that time, assistant sub inspector Bishuddhananda Mishra and constable Subrata Chowdhury sustained splinter injuries in an explosion and died. Another CID sleuth Manirujjaman is admitted at a Kolkata hospital. He has lost sight in both eyes.
It was expected that police would nab the criminals after the explosion. But that has not happened. A bomb- maker, with his face covered, said, “We don’t involve ourselves in any clash. We have come from Munger and a person of Malda has hired us to make the plastic ball bombs.”
“The raw materials for bombs come from Bangladesh. Plastic ball bombs can be made faster than crude bombs. Each plastic bomb costs around Rs 150-Rs 200. But it is sold at double the price,” he said.
Malda police super Syed W Reja didn’t comment on this development.