The Union home ministry (MHA) on Wednesday sought a report from the West Bengal government on investigation into last week’s bomb blast in Burdwan, as state CID slapped terrorism charges on four Bangladeshis arrested in connection with the blast.
The Centre will decide on Thursday whether to hand over the probe to the National Investigating Agency (NIA), the central anti-terror body, said a senior home ministry official. “The factual report has been sought and we are yet to get a reply from the state government,” an official said.
Two men, allegedly members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, a Bangladeshi terror group, were killed when a bomb exploded in a house in Burdwan. The state government has come under fire for trying to keep the NIA off the case and it could kick up a political storm if the NIA takes over the probe from the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
“Though the NIA is empowered to take up probe of any terror case without the consent of state government, the Centre has not used this clause so far,” said a source.
The CID charged the four accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), which adds to the complication, as the act makes it binding on the state government to send a report to the MHA.
“Once a police station registers an FIR under the UAPA, the police officer in-charge will send a report to the state government and the state government in turn will inform the home ministry,” a home ministry official said. “The ministry will then decide whether the case should be handed over to the NIA or the state police can continue with its probe.”