Mayor plea after third haul – Champasari clue to cache of explosives

Siliguri, April 13: The Siliguri mayor has asked all landlords in town to submit details of their tenants to police after a cache of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) was recovered from a house in Gurung Bustee last night.
This is the third and the largest haul in 10 days. A bomb squad of the CID today detonated the IEDs on the banks of the Mahananda. Ten IEDs and six timers were recovered from Anjali Dey’s house, located barely a kilometre from the Pradhannagar police station.
A forensic examination of the ashes is expected to reveal the nature of the IEDs.
The explosives were found in a room that had been rented out to three women, all of whom went missing after the Champasari blasts on April 3.
Bikash Basumatari, 22, and his parents, who have been living as tenants in another part of the house for the past two years, have been detained.
Additional police superintendent Rajesh Yadav said an examination of the SIM cards and documents found in Champasari and Mallaguri, another spot from where 2.5kg of explosives were seized, had led them to Bikash. “He told us about the three women and we raided the house.”
Tina, Nitu and Merry, aged between 20 and 25, had rented the house around two months ago, the landlady said. “All three left after the Champasari blasts. They said the father of one of the girls was ill and they were going to Nepal. We were wondering if we should inform the police, when last night the police picked up Bikash,” said Tanuka Sarkar, Anjali’s granddaughter. “The girls took a computer with them when they went.” Tanuka said Bikash was often seen talking to the girls.
Twin blasts in a house in Champasari had killed three alleged bomb-makers and triggered a hunt for militants using the town for subversive activities. Five days later, a retired power board employee had identified Dipen Rai, the fourth accused in the Champasari blasts and the only one to have escaped alive from the explosion site, as one to whom he had rented out his house in Mallaguri. More explosives were found there.
Mayor Bikash Ghosh said he has instructed all ward committee members to cooperate with the police.
“I have told them to help law enforcers get details of the tenants from each locality immediately,” said Ghosh.
Tanuka admitted that the family did not verify the girls’ credentials — they said they had come for a nursing training — and had not asked for recommendations either. (The Telegraph)

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