Bengal firecracker unit blast: Factory owner found involved in similar deaths

Kolkata:  There are antecedents of explosions and related deaths in fire-cracker factories owned by Krishnapada Bag a.k.a Bhanu, the owner of the factory at Egra in Bengal’s East Midnapore district where a blast on Tuesday afternoon killed nine persons and left 13 others critically injured.

As per state police records, the first explosion at a fire-cracker factory owned by Bag was in 1995 killing five persons. In 2001, there was another blast at the fire- cracker factory owned by him, which killed three persons including his own younger brother.

Besides running his fire-cracker business, Bag had been actively associated with ruling Trinamool Congress. He was an elected member of the Sahara village panchayat at Egra block in East Midnapore district.

However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Tuesday, claimed Trinamool Congress has no connection with those behind the blast.

Meanwhile, the sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal police, which has already taken over the investigation in the matter, have registered a case against Bag under Section 299 and Section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, on Wednesday morning, questioned how despite so many antecedents of explosions how Bag managed to run his illegal fire-cracker business openly without the knowledge of police. He also accused the district police, including the district police superintendent of East Midnapore, of having close links in ensuring that such illegal business run smoothly in the district.

“I am filing a petition at Calcutta High Court on Wednesday only demanding a National Investigation Agency probe in the matter. I also demand that the chief minister, who is also in charge of the state police department, should resign immediately taking moral responsibility,” he said.

Reacting to his comments, Trinamool Congress state general secretary and the party’s spokesman in West Bengal Kunal Ghosh said that Adhiari’s demand for NIA probe is useless since the chief minister has already said that she is open for a central agency probe in the matter.


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