Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006
Industry & Economy
Logistics - Railways
States - West Bengal
Group behind blast yet to be identified
Kolkata, Nov. 21
There was uproar in the West Bengal Assembly here on Tuesday when Opposition members, while expressing their outrage over Monday's powerful explosion, which ripped off portions of a compartment of the Haldibari Passenger train in the State's Jalpaiguri district, demanded a statement from the Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, on the incident.
Trinamool Congress and Socialist Unity Centre of India members walked out of the House, when their demands for two separate adjournment motions on the subject were rejected by the Speaker, Mr H.A. Halim.
The Chief Minister who described the incident as "dangerous" told the House that efforts were on to ascertain, which militant group was behind the blast. He had spoken to the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil and a Central detective team would be inspecting the site of the explosion to help in investigations.
Militant groups such as the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation and the United Liberation Front of Asom are being suspected to have a hand in the blast, a State official said at the State Secretariat.
According to the State Government seven persons, including a child were killed in the blast and not ten as reported earlier. It is, however, feared that the death toll could increase. Among the 52 injured the condition of nearly 20 persons is critical.
There was another blast during the day when a land-mine exploded in the Belpahari thana area of Paschim Medinipur in south Bengal the site of Maoist violence in recent months. A security personnel patrolling the area was injured.
An alert has been sounded across the State following Monday's incident and special vigil is being maintained at busy railway stations and inside trains.
As compensation Rs 50,000 would be given to the family of the bereaved while the State would bear the medical expenses of those injured, Mr Bhattacharjee announced in the House.
A team of senior police officials and experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory have reached the spot and attempts are on to ascertain the explosives and equipment used to trigger the blast, he said.
The incident was also discussed at a meeting of the State cabinet.
Mr Biman Bose, Secretary of the State Committee of the Communist Party of India [Marxist] and Chairman of the Left Front committee strongly condemned the incident, adding that the dastardly act was the handiwork of terrorists. The Left Front observed the day as one of protest and condemnation of the incident. Processions were taken out in different parts of the State and will continue on Wednesday.
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