Burdwan blast case: We have no problem with NIA probe, says Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that her government has no problem with a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe in the October 2 Burdwan blast case.

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2014, 21:49 PM IST
Burdwan blast case: We have no problem with NIA probe, says Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that her government has no problem with a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe in the October 2 Burdwan blast case.

While interacting with the scribes here during a press conference, Mamata said, "We have no problem with NIA probe. We just want Centre to consult us before taking any decision."

In her first statement over the Burdwan blast case, Banerjee further said, "We want the truth to come out" and warned the BJP, without naming the party, against linking the incident with religion.”

"Ciminals are criminals. They do not have caste, creed or religion. Terrorists are terrorists and there can be no compromise with terrorism," Banerjee told reporters at the party headquarters after a party meeting attended by MPs, ministers and MLAs.

However, Mamata had earlier expressed reservation over the Centre's decision ordering a NIA probe into the blast, in which terror links are suspected, suo motu without informing the state government.

"We want that there should be discussion," she said, adding that central agencies always had to depend on the local police. The incident should be looked at seriously," she said, adding that the state police was helping the NIA in the investigation.

Mamata added that she had no complaint about the ongoing NIA probe into the incident and took a potshot at the media for interpreting a recent Facebook comment by her as one on NIA.

"I had posted a Facebook post. Nowhere did I mention NIA. But media kept saying my post was about NIA," she said responding to the question.

The Chief Minister praised the state police for handling the case.

"It was Ashtami (the second day of the just-concluded four-day Durga Puja festival) when the Burdwan incident took place. Lakhs of people were celebrating Durga Puja. Our police managed the situation well." 

Earlier in the day, NIA officers with the help of NSG team had detonated improvised hand grenades, which they recovered during investigation, on a char in the Damodar River on the outskirts of Burdwan town.

After the hand grenades were detonated today, the situation further deteriorated since Mamata is facing criticism over her government's way of handling the Burdwan blast case.

On Wednesday, The NIA, which is probing the Burdwan blast case that killed two suspected militants, had said that it was following important leads in the investigation and summoned one person for questioning on the basis of information provide by the accused - six of whom are now under arrest.

The NIA personnel even conducted searches at various places including the residence and shop of the arrested accused Hashem Moulla, alias Badre Alam in Burdwan of West Bengal.

Amid allegations that the state police was destroying evidence to cover up, the union home ministry on October 9 directed the NIA to take up the investigation into the incident in which the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh is suspected to be involved.

While the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Bharatiya Janata Party had demanded an NIA probe alleging that the ruling Trinamool Congress was indulging in a cover up to hide its "terror links", the Mamata Banerjee government had opposed the central agency probe contending it to be an attack on federalism.

Six people including two women have been arrested for the blast. The central agency Monday had secured the custody of the two women and Badrul Alam Molla- three key accused in the case.

Besides the six arrests in Bengal, six others have been nabbed from Barpeta district in Assam for their alleged involvement in the case.

NIA teams are camping in Burdwan, Kolkata, Nadia and some parts of Assam in connection with the investigation.

A number of key players in the conspiracy have been identified and police as well as intelligence agencies have been alerted to look-out for them.

With Agency inputs