An elderly person was killed when “a huge quantity” of bombs stored inside a club exploded early morning on Monday at Katwa in Burdwan.
Police suspect that some CPI(M) leaders had stored the bombs in the club to create trouble during the forthcoming by-election at Monteswar.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) contacted the state police and sought information about the incident.
The incident led to panic in the area as the entire one-room club at Sribati village collapsed due to the explosion. The intensity of the explosion was so severe that windows and doors of the clubroom were found at a distance of around 20 feet.
The explosion took place at around 5 am on Monday. The victim, Lalu Sheikh, is a local resident and he was on a morning walk when the incident took place. The explosion took place when he was sitting on a bench just outside the club. The entire club collapsed with the explosion. A wall fell on him.
He cried for help but there was no one near him at the moment. Villagers gathered in the area a few minutes later and found him lying in an unconscious state under the debris. They pulled him out of the debris and took him to Katwa Hospital where he was declared brought dead.
A large contingent of police force from the local police station rushed to the spot. The area was cordoned off and a probe was initiated. The police recovered two plastic containers full of bombs from under a culvert near the club.
Later, the police arrested four members of the club in this connection. Sources said that there were some CPI(M) supporters in the locality and they had stored the bombs in the club.
Chand Pal, who resides in a house adjacent to the club, said he heard a loud sound of explosion. “I rushed to the spot. The entire area was filled with thick smoke. Initially, we couldn’t see anything. After a few minutes, we found the club house lying in debris,” he said. Police said that some people used to frequent the club at night.
Raj Narayan Mukhopadhyay, additional superintendent of police, visited the spot and said that further investigation is necessary to ascertain the exact reason behind storing the bombs in the club.
A team comprising officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) visited the spot and collected samples.
Sources said that the NIA enquired about the incident from the state police. A team of NIA officers would be visiting the spot if preliminary investigation reveals involvement of any terror outfit in the blast.
Meanwhile, ADG (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma on Monday said that the victim’s family had filed a
complaint, saying that CPI(M) workers were preparing bombs in the club.