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NIA starts probe into seizure of explosives from Bengal’s Birbhum

Kolkata, July 2 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has started its probe into the huge cache of explosives like ammonium nitrate and detonators seized from Nalhati in West Bengal’s Birbhum district late on Friday night.

The recovery of the explosives was done by the state police’s Special Task Force (STF). However, considering the quantum of the cache and seriousness of the matter, the NIA too has started conducting a parallel probe in the matter, especially to find out the reason amassing such a quantity of explosives.

Sources from the STF said that there are two possibilities for such a huge amount of explosives being stockpiled.

There is a possibility that it was meant for the left- wing extremist cadres who have again started reorganising in different pockets of the state, while STF sleuths also do not rule out the involvement of sleeper cells of the banned Bangladesh-based terror outfit, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), who are quite active in pockets of Birbhum and its adjacent Burdwan district.

STF sources said that the quantum of explosives recovered are enough to blow up an entire town. The quantity of ammonium nitrate recovered is 28,000 kgs and the number of detonators recovered is 81,000 pieces.

Truck-driver Asish Keora has already been arrested in this connection for allegedly transporting these huge quantities of explosives and detonators in phases.

Now, questions have also started being raised about the intelligence failure on part of the police. Such huge quantities cannot be transported and stored in a single phase or even a single day and surely it was done over a period of time.

State police sources, however, said that a number of illegal stone quarries are scattered across different pockets of Birbhum, where there are requirements of explosives and raids are conducted at these in search of explosives. Although explosives had been recovered from Birbhum, the quantity recovered was nowhere near that recovered on Friday.

–IANS

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