Three killed in explosion at fireworks factory in Bengal village
Three people were killed and two injured in an explosion at a fireworks factory at Mohanpur village in the Nodakhali area of Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district on Wednesday morning, police said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders claimed that according to locals five men were killed. This was, however, not confirmed by the police.
The factory was located inside a residential building in a densely populated area, said a local police officer who did not want to be named. The village is located around 45 km to the south of Kolkata.
“A probe is on. Local people said the house belonged to Ashim Mondal. It was damaged in the explosion which also set the building on fire. The bodies were badly charred. The incident happened early in the morning. We are trying to find out if the factory had a licence,” the officer added.
A police contingent rushed to the spot. Senior district police officers did not make any official statement on the identity of the victims till 4 pm.
“The incident has reminded us once again that West Bengal is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. The area where the explosion took place today is known for criminal activities. The area witnessed violence after the recent assembly polls. The explosion should be probed and the culprits booked immediately,” said BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh.
TMC leaders did not react to the BJP’s allegation.
Partha Sarathi Ghosh, inspector-in-charge of Nodakhali police station, told HT that two of the victims were men while one was a woman.
“The deceased used to live in that house. Investigation has revealed that it was a small factory where sparklers, rockets etc. used to be made before festivals. We have not found any evidence of terrorist activity that is being alleged,” said Ghosh, indirectly hinting at the BJP leaders.
The Bengal BJP, however, mounted pressure on the ruling party since Nodakhali is part of the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency represented by TMC national general secretary and chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
“The National Investigation Agency (NIA) should take up this investigation as this is not the first time that explosives have claimed lives in Bengal. I will write to Union home minister Amit Shah and urge him to order an NIA probe,” said BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar.