One killed, two injured in explosion at TMC office in West Midnapore

TMC district president Ajit Maiti said they were collecting all information regarding the explosion

india Updated: Aug 23, 2018 21:01 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
It was not immediately known whether a crude bomb had exploded or a gas cylinder inside the party office led to the incident.(Representative photo)

A Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker was killed in an explosion in a party office in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district on Thursday that sparked a war of words between the state’s ruling party and Opposition leaders over the cause of the blast.

The blast, which destroyed a part of the TMC office, took place at around 8.45am at Makrampur in Narayangarh area on NH-60, about 125km west of Kolkata, police said. It happened minutes before a party meeting was scheduled to begin, said Ajit Maity, president of the district Trinamool Congress.

The killed TMC worker was identified as Sudipto Ghosh, 40. Six others who were injured, two critically, have been admitted to Midnapore Medical College Hospital.

The TMC said a gas cylinder had exploded at the facility but both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress were quick to allege that crude bombs had caused the explosion.

“To create an atmosphere of fear, Trinamool workers stocked bombs inside their office. Since the process of forming panchayats started this week, they needed the bombs to strike fear in the villages,” claimed Samit Dash, BJP district president in West Midnapore.

He did not give any evidence to support his claim, which was rubbished by TMC’s district president Maity. “The gas cylinder kept in the party office exploded as our workers were gathering for a meeting. The Opposition is spreading lies to malign us,” he said.

Anil Sikaria, a district Congress leader raised the crude bombs theory as well. He alleged, “The Trinamool had stocked bombs in the party office which exploded, resulting in the death and injuries.”

Last May, an explosion at Pichkuri village in Ausgram area of Burdwan district had gutted the TMC office. One person was killed in the incident, which was caused by crude bombs, police said. District magistrate Anurag Srivastava had confirmed the death.

Months earlier, in February 2017, an explosion in a TMC leader’s house in Kalna in the same district injured three people. Crude bombs were being made in the house, police officers said.

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 20:20 IST