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KLO firing stench in intelligence report

Malda, Dec. 28: Malda police have “received intelligence reports” suggesting that the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) was behind last night’s attack on a bus in the district that left four persons with bullet wounds, police sources and a minister said today.

“We have learnt that the district police have received intelligence inputs that the KLO has made plans to attack Trinamul leaders and workers and the police. The militants are trying to create panic. Yesterday’s attack on the bus was a glaring example of this,” tourism minister Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury said.

Bullets had been sprayed at the private bus as it neared its destination in Pakuahat, a KLO stronghold, on the eve of the outfit’s foundation day. Three passengers and the bus cleaner suffered bullet injuries in their legs.

On the KLO’s “martyrs’ day” on Thursday, a blast suspected to have been triggered by the outfit had killed five persons in Jalpaiguri. A sixth, ambulance driver Rafikul Islam, 22, succumbed to his injuries today.

Sources at Nabanna said Bengal police were in talks with their Assam counterparts to conduct joint searches in districts on the Bengal-Assam border. Mamata Banerjee held a meeting with senior police officers today to get a detailed report on the blast and the bus firing.

A police officer in Malda said over 10 rounds were fired at the bus. “It appears that SLR rifles and pistols were used,” the officer said.

The police suspect KLO leader Malkhan Singh had led the attack. Singh’s village, Kansa, is 7km from the attack site.

Kalyan Mukherjee, the superintendent of Malda police, said: “We are yet to confirm the identity of the attackers.”