The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wait for blast clues in forensic report

Oct. 29: Forty-eight hours after the blast in a village near Rampurhat in Birbhum killed 14 persons, police are tight-lipped on why the huge amount of explosives was hoarded in the two-storeyed mud house.

Birbhum superintendent of police Jayanta Basu said they were waiting for the forensic reports to throw more light on the incident.

Deputy inspector-general of police (headquarters) Narayan Ghosh said in Calcutta police were yet to get “specific leads” in the case. Netai Das, in whose house the blast occurred, is the sleuths’ only hope of getting a first-person account of what happened on Sunday night.

Netai is fighting for his life in a Rampurhat hospital. Police are looking for his son Anath, a rickshaw driver who is absconding.

Two forensic experts and a CID team visited the spot in Dakhalbati village this morning. The experts collected samples and defused some unexploded bombs before returning to Calcutta.

A Congress team led by local MLA Asit Mal and Birbhum party president Nihar Dutta faced angry villagers when they paid a visit. The heckled leaders lodged a complaint with the Rampurhat police. “The people affected in the blast are not Congress workers, but could have been our voters,” Mal said.

Yesterday, CPM state secretariat member from Birbhum Matiur Rehman had alleged that the men were making crude bombs when the explosives went off and that they were patronised by the Congress.

Senior officials were not willing to go on record about the bomb factory. But police sources conceded that one of the victims, Basir Sheikh, led the bomb-making team in Netai’s house. The team, otherwise landless labourers, used to eke out a living by making and selling bombs to those who needed them.

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