Kolkata: It is election season in West Bengal and one thing which is big in demands here is Peto – the hand-made bomb – a cheap and easily available convenient weapon used by political parties to settle scores with each other and threaten the interfering public.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Master Rafique is among the top bomb-makers of the state and lives in a village near Rabindranath Tagore’s Shantiniketan in the Birbhum district.
Rafique, with the help of his two-three confidant, makes around 2,000 bombs a day.
Bragging about his clout, Rafique says he is very well connected and in regular touch of almost all top rung leaders from the Trinamool Congress to CPI-M and the BJP.
The master bomb-maker, who refuses to reveal the name of his guru, boasts that he can make one bomb in just five minutes in case of an emergency.
HT: When did you learn and from whom?
Rafique, who started making bomb at the tender age of 16 says, admits that his profession is too risky but says he has no option as he has to feed a family of six and this work brings him easy money.
Talking about his risky business, he says the demand for bombs boom during the poll season.
The master bomb-maker, who is given a VIP treatment by his high-profile political clients and travels in air-conditioned car, charges about something ranging between Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 depending on the number of bombs demanded.
For urgent work, he even charges Rs 10,000 for half a day, he claimed.
When asked how he runs his business when there are no elections, Rafique claimed that thanks to Trinamool’s faction fights, his business is never dull.
When asked when he plans to retire from this risky job, he claimed that there is no retirement age in this profession. You have to stop only when your eyes fail or your hands shake, he claimed.
My job is a job like any other. We also take precautions, he was quoted as saying.