regular-article-logo Sunday, 10 December 2023

Opposition parties slam ruling Trinamul Congress on Duttapukur explosion

CPM alleges that chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s promise to take stern measures against illegal fireworks factories is an exercise in futility

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar, Subhasish Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 28.08.23, 07:11 AM
Suvendu Adhikari.

Suvendu Adhikari. PTI file picture

Bengal's Opposition parties wasted no time on Sunday in attacking the ruling Trinamul on the Duttapukur blast.

While the state BJP shot a missive to Union home minister Amit Shah seeking an NIA probe into the incident, the ISF and Trinamul exchanged fire, each accusing the other of being responsible for the explosion.


The CPM alleged that chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s promise to take stern measures against illegal fireworks factories was an exercise in futility.

In the letter to Shah, BJP state unit chief Sukanta Majumdar said that a “thorough and impartial investigation” by the NIA will cover “all aspects including the possibility of any terror-related activities”.

“The families of the victims and the affected communities deserve an answer, justice, and assurance that such incidents will not recur. Your prompt attention to this matter and your decision to initiate an NIA investigation will not only bring clarity to the circumstances surrounding these explosions but also instill confidence in the citizens that the government is committed to their safety and security," Majumdar wrote.

Majumdar claimed “at least six to seven people” were killed and toll was likely to rise. His colleague, the leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, tweeted the number “would surpass 10”.

Adhikari referred to the Egra blast in May following which the state had promised to regulate firecracker industries. He claimed the stand seemed to be “merely a publicity stunt”.

“They stated that it would be ensured that such illegal factories do not exist anymore and the state Cabinet decided to set up "Clusters for manufacturing green firecrackers" and formed a committee headed by Chief Secretary Shri Hari Krishna Dwivedi (IAS) to look into the matter,” he tweeted.

Adhikari added: “They won't take any action this time either.... The interests of the TMC party are aligned with these illegal explosive manufacturing units. Any regulation or monitoring won't be tolerated by the TMC goons.”

His allegations were echoed by Sujan Chakraborty, the CPM’s central committee member. Chakraborty said that after Egra, similar blasts took place in Malda and Budge Budge, and the Duttapukur incident was the latest addition to the list.

According to Chakraborty, the blasts occurred as the factory stocked raw materials for crude bombs in the garb of making firecrackers.

“Does this mean the chief minister has failed? Nobody is listening to her, neither her police, administration nor her party,” he said.

Rathin Ghosh, a minister in Mamata’s cabinet, has been accused of being aware of this illegal factory. He alleged the factory supplied bombs to the ISF. The ISF chairman and Bhangar MLA Nawsad Siddique hit back at Ghosh for his allegations.

“I demand an NIA probe into the matter. If anyone from the ISF is found guilty we will take action. But the minister himself should be questioned by the agency. Let him demand an NIA probe as well,” Siddique, who visited the blast site, said.

A BJP delegation led by state unit women’s wing chief Falguni Patra visited the site. Governor C.V. Ananda Bose also went to Duttapukur.

Trinamul's state general secretary Kunal Ghosh blamed the Centre. Posting on X (formerly Twitter), Ghosh said that “those who lost their lives in Egra were driven to hazardous work due to the lack of opportunities under the 100 days of work scheme whose funds in Bengal have been frozen by the @BJP4India-led Centre.”

He alleged the prime accused in the Egra blast was Adhikari's aide.

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