Siliguri, April 17: Police today detained four persons, including two trainee nurses, in connection with the recent blasts and recovery of explosives in town, taking the total number of detainees to eight.
Eight others have been arrested since two consecutive explosions in Champasari killed three alleged bomb-makers on April 3 (see chart). They are members of the BCP (MLM) or Bhutan Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), said the police.
The four detained today live on the outskirts of Siliguri, the police said. This is the first time that people arrested or detained in this case have given addresses that are outside the Siliguri Municipal Corporation area.
As many as six of the eight detainees are pursuing nursing training at different private health establishments, prompting the police to appeal to nursing home owners to be more cautious while recruiting.
“They should verify the background of all their employees,” Siliguri additional superintendent of police Rajesh Yadav said. The law enforcers have also asked landlords to furnish details of their tenants at the nearest police stations.
“Of the 16 arrested or detained so far, nine are girls who seem to have come from poor backgrounds. Nursing is an easy profession that does not require candidates to be highly qualified. And Siliguri has many nursing homes and private clinics,” a senior police officer said.
“They get hardly Rs 250-400 per month during their trainee period. That is why they shared rooms, be it at Mallaguri, Gurung Bustee or Mahakalpalli (the three places raided so far with explosives found in the first two). Along with their nursing training however, they also used to maintain links with these subversive outfits,” the officer added.
There are 30 nursing homes and more than 100 private pathological laboratories in the civic area.
The nursing home owners’ association has agreed to cooperate. “We have asked all members to verify the identity of girls before recruiting them as trainee nurses,” said association joint secretary Dewat Ram Nakipuria.