West Bengal Police have seized more than 34,000 kg of explosives and arrested more than 145 people from the state.
NEW DELHI: The West Bengal Police have seized more than 34,000 kg of explosives and arrested more than 145 people from the state, during its week-long raid it conducted across the state on illegal “fireworks” factories spread in different districts in Bengal.
According to the Bengal Police, it also seized more than one lakh unit of fire crackers from the different districts it raided. These firecrackers were being manufactured and stored illegally in factories and houses of different people across Bengal.
The West Bengal Police conducted the week-long raid after a blast took place in an illegal firecracker factory in East Medinipur’s Egra on 16 May, that took away the lives of at least nine people. This blast was followed by two other blasts in similar illegal firecracker factories operating in the Birbhum and South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.
Incidentally one of the blast that took place was at the house of a Trinamool Congress leader where allegedly country made bombs and illegal fireworks were stored. The blast also took away the lives of three of the family members of the TMC leader. According to sources, the raids were carried out in North and South 24 Parganas district, from where tons of illegal firecrackers and explosive materials were seized. From the North 24 Parganas district alone more than 10 people have been arrested in connection with running these illegal factories.
While 1200 kg of explosive and fireworks were seized from the Howrah district. Tons of firecrackers and explosives have also been recovered from Birbhum and Medinipur districts.
The Sunday Guardian in its 21 May 2023 edition “Blast exposes Bengal’s illegal factories making bombs and firearms” reported on how there is a massive mushrooming of illegal factories making bombs and firearms in the grab of firecracker factories. The West Bengal Police started the crackdown after these series of blast in Bengal rocked the state. According to Bengal police sources, the ADG (Law and Order), West Bengal Police, has instructed all SPs of each district of Bengal to keep an eye out for such illegal firecracker factories and the people indulging in such activities. The Police has also instructed the local “goons” or “mafias” to surrender their explosives to their respective police stations by the end of this month, failing which coercive action on them would be taken.
The West Bengal government also formed a special task force under the leadership of the Chief Secretary of West Bengal that is overseeing the entire operation and the district units of the Bengal police have been asked to send daily reports on seizures to the State Secretariat in Kolkata.