Bomb Blasts Shake West Bengal, Police On High Alert

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| August 20 , 2017 , 17:07 IST

As two blast shook Darjeeling and Kalimpong in the distressed state of West Bengal, the police in the valley has been put on a "high alert" while counter-insurgency strategies have been enforced.

Kalimpong Superintendent of Police Ajit Singh Yadav said, "All police stations have been put on high alert. The security protocol followed in insurgency-hit areas is being followed here."

"New types of weapons have been issued to policemen," he added.

The blast killed a civic volunteer Rakesh Raut while a Home Guard and a Seema Sashastra Bal trooper were injured outside Kalimpong police station.

The explosion occurred less than 24 hours after a blast in the heart of Darjeeling hill town that damaged a few shops and triggered tension.

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The official said, "A high-intensity explosive was used in Kalimpong."

Kalimpong District Magistrate Vishwanath said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had been imposed since August 10 for one month, adding that police was taking additional measures for security.

"Section 144 was imposed within a radius of 100 metres of all government properties in Kalimpong from August 10 to September 10. Additional security steps has been taken up by police after the blast," said Viswanath.

Tourism Minister Gautam Deb condemned the blasts and claimed the explosives were brought from outside the country.

He said everyone should put aside political differences and come together to ensure security in north Bengal hills, which is critically positioned vis-a-vis neighbouring countries.

Both blasts took place on the 69th day of the indefinite shutdown called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which wants a separate Gorkhaland in the north Bengal hills.

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Police said the blast in Darjeeling was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device. A FIR was registered against three Morcha leaders, including GJM chief Bimal Gurung.

The GJM leadership denied the charges and claimed the blast was the handiwork of those who did not want Gorkhaland to come into existence. The GJM on Sunday demanded that the closed-circuit television footage from outside Kalimpong police station be made public.

GJM leader Swaraj Thapa said, "We condemn the blasts. Investigative agencies should thoroughly probe these incidents. We also demand that the CCTV footage from the Kalimpong police station be made public so that everyone knows what happened."

Gurung said he had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to demand a high-level inquiry into the blasts.