The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Explosives in mystery bags

Dec. 6: A railway police team from Katwa in Burdwan today seized more than 100 kg of explosive substances from Bajajsow station in Murshidabad.

Acting on information from railway employees that two sacks were offloaded from the Azimgunj-Howrah passenger this morning and were lying unclaimed, the police team rushed from Katwa.

On a day when the nation celebrated Id and remembered the demolition of the Babri Masjid 10 years ago, neither the administration nor the police wanted to take chances.

The police took custody of the sacks even as a CID team from Calcutta rushed to the town to investigate the matter.

Police sources said the sacks were offloaded at a place which is the meeting point of Burdwan, Murshidabad and Birbhum.

Murshidabad superintendent of police Virendra said in Behrampore that one of the sacks contained a potassium-based material used for making explosives. The contents of the other were not known. It is with the CID for tests. Virendra said the 103-kg consignment was marked for one Ramesh Kumar in Bajajsow and had been loaded at Gaya in Bihar.

The police have intensified patrol inside trains. Deputy superintendent of railway police, Anutosh Basu, said forensic tests on the “high quality” explosive chemical are on.

“Just the volume of explosives was so great that it was capable of causing immense damage,” said an official.

As the news spread, people flocked to the spot for a glimpse of the mystery sacks and the rumour mill rolled at its pace. The police, however, threw a cordon around the site. No onlooker was allowed anywhere near as the fear of a surprise blast loomed.

Intelligence officials said the recovery of explosives have only confirmed fears that terrorist activities, especially in the border districts, are on the rise.

“The consignment could have come from Nepal and then loaded onto the train at Gaya,” an official said.

“The borders are porous and it is unlikely that this is the first such consignment.”

The police now fear that several such consignments have already made their way to Calcutta.

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