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Bengal Trinamool leader on the run after blast in house; brother detained

The blast took place at Minatun Mollah’s house around 8pm in Paikuni village of Dharampur area of Illambazar, about 168km to the north of state capital Kolkata.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2019 17:50 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
Midnapore (West Bengal)
bengal trinamool leader,blast,house
A Trinamool Congress leader in West Bengal’s Birbhum district is on the run after a blast in his house blew the roof and demolished a wall on Wednesday night. (Representative Image)(PTI)

A Trinamool Congress leader in West Bengal’s Birbhum district is on the run after a blast in his house blew the roof and demolished a wall on Wednesday night, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing him of stockpiling crude bombs.

The blast took place at Minatun Mollah’s house around 8pm in Paikuni village of Dharampur area of Illambazar, about 168km to the north of state capital Kolkata. However, no one was injured as the members of his family were outside the house at the time of the blast.

“We have detained a brother of Minatun Mollah, who has gone missing. We have drawn up a suo motu case and are investigating the matter,” Soumojit Barua, the subdivisional police officer of Bolpur, said.

An officer of Illambazar police station said on the condition of anonymity that prima facie it appeared that crude bombs were stored inside one of the rooms.

BJP leaders quickly pointed out that the incident proved the allegation that their party president Amit Shah made during his recent public rallies in Bengal on January 22 and January 29. Shah had alleged the factories making bombs and firearms are the only ones flourishing in Bengal under Mamata Banerjee’s rule.

“It is not the first incident that bombs stored in the house of ruling party leaders have gone off. This is yet another example that Trinamool leaders are using their homes and clubs to stockpile bombs to kill and intimidate political opponents,” president of BJP’s district unit Ramkrishna Roy said.

Trinamool Congress leaders denied the opposition party’s accusations.

“The BJP and other parties are labelling false allegations. Let the police investigate and the truth will be revealed,” Piyus Pandey, a district leader of the ruling party, said.

This is not the first time that blasts have been reported from the houses and offices of Trinamool workers and leaders.

In September 2018, a portion of the Trinamool Congress office in Birbhum district caved in after an explosion suspected to have been triggered by bombs stored in the room. In the same month, another blast took place in the house of a Trinamool Congress leader in the same district.

In December, some bombs were found from the house of a Trinamool Congress worker in Sadaipur area of Birbhum district. Four Trinamool Congress activists died after an explosion inside the party office in Narayangarh area in Midnapore district in August 2018.

Birbhum district has turned into a hotbed of political clashes between the supporters of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP for the past few years.

In the panchayat election held in May 2018, the state’s ruling party won all the 42 zilla parishad seats without a contest. The opposition parties attributed its win to the strong arm tactics unleashed by the district Trinamool leaders.

First Published: Feb 07, 2019 16:47 IST