Kolkata: Day after Naihati cracker blast, Home Department seeks report

Kolkata: Day after Naihati cracker blast, Home Department seeks report

A shattered window pane after the explosion in Naihati. (File)

A day after seized firecrackers exploded while being defused on the banks of Ganga in North 24 Parganas district’s Naihati town, causing damage to buildings situated even on the other side of the river — Chinsurah in Hooghly — West Bengal Home department Friday sought a report from Barrackpore Police Commissionerate into the matter.

Police sources said the Barrackpore commissionerate is likely to give a report on Sunday. “They are waiting for a forensic report. Senior forensic officials are likely to visit the site Saturday,” said a source.

Barrackpore Police Commisoner Manoj Verma visited the spot on Friday.

Naihati Municipality Chairman Ashok Chattopadhyay also visited the spot Friday morning, when angry local residents demonstrated before him. He assured them that the damaged houses will soon be repaired.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Thursday assured the victims of compensation for the damages and sought a report.

The district administration has already sent a report to the state Secretariat about the overall loss.

Fearing more damage, the Naihati residents, however, have requested the police not to defuse firecrackers further.

Police seized crackers during raids on several illegal factories in the area after five persons were burned to death following three back-to-back explosions at a unit in a Naihati village on January 3.

Meanwhile, Governor Jagdeep Dhankar demanded a proper probe into the entire incident.

“Police initially said that the (firecracker) factory (at the Naihati village where the explosion killed five people) was being operated without licence. It’s the responsibility of the law enforcement agency to keep a watch. An in-depth probe is required to find out who all benefit monetarily by allowing such factories to flourish”.

“It’s very frightening. Government in Bengal must act fast. The central government can direct a suo motu investigation by NIA (National Investigation Agency),” said the Governor.

The BJP also demanded an NIA investigation. “These are not simple crackers. We suspect there were RDX and other explosives. So, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should talk to the Centre about an NIA investigation,” BJP leader Rahul Sinha said.

Three Naihati residents received minor injuries in the explosion during the cracker diffusion.