5 killed, 9 injured in Jalpaiguri blast

Five people were killed and nine critically injured in an explosion at Bajrapara in Jalpaiguri district in north Bengal. The explosives on two bicycles went off around 7.20 pm Thursday in Bajrapara-Paharpur area.

Three victims were identified as local people. Two of the dead could not be identified. Police sources said the bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. Police believe the two were the ones carrying the bombs strapped on bicycles.

Two unidentified cyclists were crossing the bridge near Paharpur in Jalpaiguri when the bomb went off killing three passers-by. "Five people were killed and nine were critically injured. They have been shifted to Jalpaiguri district hospital. We are yet to determine what kind of explosives were used. The forensic teams would reach the spot," said Sashikanta Pujara, IG, North Bengal.

"We are yet to ascertain which outfit is behind the blast. We're investigating the incident," added Pujara. Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) has used bombs strapped on bicycles blasts planned by the outfit. December 26 is observed as Martyr's day by KLO, and this strengthened suspicion of a KLO hand in the explosion, said a senior police official.

The district police received intelligence inputs from state and central agencies this week that KLO could plan a major terrorist activity between December 26 and December 28. "The alert was specific. And the outfit mentioned in the alert was KLO. All security arrangements were in place in Jalpaiguri. However, the blast took place four km away from the town, " said a senior police official.

North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb, who was in Kolkata, refused to comment when asked if he suspected KLO hand behind the blast, saying "it was a sensitive issue."

Deb said the government "will do everything possible to destroy these forces and isolate them from the people" through administrative measures.

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