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Suvendu Adhikari leads Opposition rally for NIA probe into explosion at illegal firework factory

Sources close to Adhikari say he plans to strengthen public opinion against Mamata Banerjee in Egra constituency ahead of panchayat polls

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar Calcutta Published 24.05.23, 04:24 AM
Suvendu Adhikari and other BJP leaders at the rally in Egra on Tuesday.

Suvendu Adhikari and other BJP leaders at the rally in Egra on Tuesday. The Telegraph

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari led a march at Egra in East Midnapore on Tuesday, demanding a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the explosion at the illegal firework factory that had claimed the lives of 12 people last week.

Calcutta High Court had already dismissed Adhikari’s plea for the NIA probe.


“This rally is in demand of an NIA probe. We had moved the court.... (The CID) has been forced to add the sections under the Explosives Act. I will ensure that the NIA probe is initiated,” Adhikari said while addressing the public at the end of the march.

He alleged that Egra police had been wreaking havoc on the people of Khadikul over the past week, prompted by the “peaceful protests” the villagers had put up against the law enforcers in the aftermath of the blast. He claimed that four “innocent villagers” had been arrested by the police.

The illegal firecracker factory was located at Khadikul near Egra.

At the end of the rally, the Nandigram MLA visited the Egra police station and told the duty officer there that if the alleged torture of the villagers was not stopped, he would lead a march to the police station as well.

“I urge the people of Khadikul to continue their peaceful, democratic protests,” he said in the address.

The Egra MLA is Tarun Maity of the Trinamul Congress.

Sources close to Adhikari said he planned to strengthen the public opinion against chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the Egra constituency ahead of panchayat polls.

Bengal was rocked by a series of blasts over the last week. From Egra to Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas, Dubrajpur in Birbhum and Englishbazar in Malda, the blasts have so far claimed 16 lives, providing an opportunity for Opposition parties to call out the state administration in failing to maintain law and order.

CPM’s state committee member Sujan Chakraborty said: “Poor people are being forced to take employment at these workshops. Our government has started an initiative to open up a cluster of green firecracker industries. But the Trinamul government did not take the task forward. The lows that the chief minister and her cadres are taking Bengal to is unthinkable.”

State Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said certain areas in the state needed to be declared as “distress zones” since there was no law and order in those places.

Trinamul’s state secretary Kunal Ghosh said it wassuspicious that one explosion after another was taking place.

“There might be some conspiracy behind this. Also one must remember that firecrackers and bombs are not the same things,” he said.

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