KLO`s involvement in Jalpaiguri blast not yet confirmed

A day after the bomb explosion near Jalpaiguri town which killed five people and left nine injured, security agencies are yet to find out if it was a terrorist attack.

Kolkata/Jalpaiguri: A day after the bomb explosion near Jalpaiguri town which killed five people and left nine injured, security agencies are yet to find out if it was a terrorist attack.

The Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) which observed its martyrs` day yesterday is widely believed to be behind the blast, though the organisation in a statement released today denied its hand in the incident.

A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) today inspected the site at Bajrapara near Jalpaiguri town. DSP, Jalpaiguri, Probhat Chakraborty, said the team collected samples from the blast site.
No one had been arrested or detained by the police till now, he said.

About the KLO`s involvement in the blast, the DSP did not wish to comment, saying "we won`t say anything on this matter now. All angles to the blast are being investigated," he said.

While denying its hand in the blast, the KLO alleged in the statement that the West Bengal police was trying to malign the organisation.

"We clarify that the WB Police has been trying to bring misunderstanding among the Kamatapuri people by blaming us. Also, they have been trying to defame our organisation," KLO general secretary Kailash Koch said in the press statement.

"So, we warn the WB Police not to play hide and seek with the innocent people in the name of our organisation," it said.

The KLO was formed in 1993 to fight for a separate Kamtapuri state comprising six districts of north Bengal and some areas of lower Assam.

IG, North Bengal Shashikant Pujari today submitted a detailed report on the incident to the IG (law and order), Anuj Shrama.

Asked if there was a prior intelligence alert about the blast, Anuj Sharma told PTI, "As the KLO was observing its martyrs` day yesterday, we had a general alert requiring us to conduct checks at various check points."

Asked about the KLO statement, Sharma said, "We neither claimed that KLO was involved nor gave them a clean chit. The investigation is on, it will bring out the truth."

On whether it was an intelligence or security failure, Sharma replied, "I won`t say anything right now. The probe is on. We are looking into all the aspects of the incident. The CID and IB are looking into the matter."

State Forensic teams and CID officials also reached the Jalpaiguri town today to examine the kind of explosives used to carry out the blast, the police said.

Meanwhile, an abandoned bag near a level crossing in the Jalpaiguri town sparked off panic among the residents.

Senior district police officers said the bag was found lying unclaimed in an alley close to the level crossing gate number three in the town this evening.

Local residents informed the police soon and the area was cordoned off, officers at the Kotwali police station said, adding the bomb squad had been alerted.

A senior Jalpaiguri police officer said, "Since last evening`s blast, all police stations in the district, especially along the border have been put on hight alert. We are waiting for the bomb squad to come and look into the abandoned bag," a senior officer said.

State North Bengal Development minister Gautam Deb and state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee today visited the blast site and met the family members of the victims.

Mukherjee later told reporters, "Some persons have already been arrested in connection to the blast, but we are not giving any further details due to security reasons and for the sake of the investigation."

"The state government has decided to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next to kin of the dead, Rs 1 lakh to persons who had sustained grievous injuries and Rs 50,000 to those who have sustained minor injuries.

"The injured will be treated free of cost at the hospital. We are not blaming anyone at this moment. The administration and the police are on high alert and we will combat the challenge," he said.
CPI-M Central Committee member Mohd Selim and other district leaders also visited the blast site and met family members of the victims. They also went to Jalpaiguri hospital.
Senior Congress leader Manas Bhuiyan too visited the blast site and the injured.