Around 800 crude bombs were on Friday discovered in a block health centre in a village in Birbhum, bolstering the hypothesis that Bengal is sitting on a powder keg.
An officer-in-charge of Panrui police station in the district was also injured when he went in with a team to seize the bombs.
The bombs were discovered stored in 17 plastic drums in an unused room in the Sattor-Kasba primary health centre. The village is about 210 km to the north of Kolkata.
Locals told HT that no health employee stayed in the centre and that after sunset, the hospital campus was a den for anti-socials. In the morning, however, hundreds of villagers flock to the centre for treatment despite a chronically inadequate supply of medicines.
The discovery of bomb-making materials has led some police officers to believe that the centre was being used to manufacture and stockpile bombs.
On Friday afternoon, police had first gone to Choumondolpur village under Panrui police station area to search for the bombs. “There, we had gone to recover bombs and arrest Sadai Sheikh, a local criminal. When we reached the village, miscreants started throwing bombs and brickbats at us. Six bombs were hurled at our vehicle.
Two of my colleagues and I were injured,” said OC Panrui Prasenjit Dutta, from the hospital.
Ruling party leaders in the district claimed Sadai Sheikh was now an active supporter of BJP. Earlier, he and his gang allegedly supported CPI(M). Locals told HT that over the past few weeks, Sadai Skheikh and his team had allegedly unleashing terror in the area.
“We are living in a state of terror. Generally people get security from police — but in our state, even the police is insecure. Leaders are instigating their supporters to attack policemen, and the senior leaders are either praising that or guarding them. What else can we expect?” remarked Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury.