Minor blast near Howrah’s Belur Math creates terror panic

By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.net,

Kolkata/Howrah: Tension prevailed at Belur Math of the Ramrkrisha Mission in Howrah district of West Bengal following two minor explosions on the evening on Friday. Although there was no casualty, fear of an imminent terror attack just before the municipal elections has gripped the city, as the issue has particularly been hyped up by BJP.

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A team of Howrah City police already is investigating the case and is probing all angles. On Saturday morning, Howrah City Police Commissioner Ajoy Mukund Ranade held a meeting at the Bali Police Station with all the senior police officers.

Belur Math (Temple) Howrah
Belur Math (Temple) Howrah

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Head Quarter) Nishat Parwez said that the police are checking all the CCTV footages obtained from cameras installed at the Belur Math for possible clues and have also interrogated few men. Three persons, including a sweeper of the math, has been detained so far, although no arrest has been made, giving opposition parties ammunition to fire at the state government.

According to Howrah police, on the evening of Friday when devotees were getting ready for offering Sandha Arati, two minor explosions were heard near the area where shoes are left by devotees before entering. Earlier it was thought to be crackers, but latter probe suggests it was crude bomb. No casualty was reported though although window panels broke due to the sound.

Police personnel who were on duty outside the temple, soon cordoned off the entire area and bomb squad team reached the spot. A forensic team has collected samples for further testing.

Shunning criticism, Deputy Commissioner (Head Quarter) Nishat Parwez said that the police is not taking the matter lightly as any attack, big or small, on religious place is perilous, adding that the police is investigating all angles.

He said that only after the forensic reports are out they would be in a position to detail on the nature of the blast.

There is fear that just before the local municipal elections, attempts are being made to vitiate the communal atmosphere of the state. Nishat Parwez, however, rejected this saying that we will have to wait for further investigations before making any remarks.

Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee is also keeping an eye on the developments and the security of the Belur Math has been increased. Generally more than 300 devotees attend the evening worship (Sandhya Arati).

Meanwhile, Swami Shubhakarananda of the Belur Math has urged the police in a written letter for prompt investigation into the explosion.