Kolkata: Two people were arrested and explosives weighing 1,000 kg seized in North 24-Parganas district in West Bengal last week. Police suspect that the explosives, being smuggled from mines in Odisha’s Balasore, were to be used to manufacture country bombs for use in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. According to sources, police set up checkpoints at various places of north Kolkata and intercepted the truck carrying the explosives at Tallah bridge under Chitpur police station. The explosives were packed in 27 gunny bags. The driver and helper of the vehicle were arrested.
The driver and the helper, both residents of Balasore were charged under the Explosives Act. They have named several people from the industrial belt of North 24 Parganas in the case. “Raids are on across Bhatpara and Barrackpore to nab those who were to receive the consignments,” an officer said.
The security men - which had earlier probed a bomb blast case inside a local train - had found several small bomb making units around Kolkata. However, there is no terror angle attributed to this case at present. The police said that all its units have been instructed to ensure that there is no trouble during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “We are trying to find out how many such shipments have already been made. It seems this has been going on for some time,” said an investigator.
In 2015, the CID had recovered 600 kg of the far more lethal ammonium nitrate from a godown on Strand Road. In that instance too, the explosives had come from Odisha and Bihar. They were used to manufacture country bombs in North 24 Parganas and Murshidabad that were then sent to Kolkata and even across the border to Bangladesh.