Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


New Delhi, Political parties, local gangs and terrorist organizations are among the suspects the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is tracking in its probe into the explosion in a suburban train in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district.

NIA top brass have instructed officers investigating the blast on train number 31811 (Sealdah-Krishnanagar EMU local) at Titagarh railway station on May 12 to keep political parties and local gangs on its radar.

“We are a specialized unit for handling terrorist cases because of which the government handed us the probe into the train blast. But we cannot avoid the West Bengal Police theory of local gangs’ involvement. Political parties are also on our radar,” an NIA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IANS.

A total of 15 passengers were injured, six of them seriously of which one succumbed to his injuries later, in the blast which took place about 4 a.m. in the fifth compartment from the engine of the local train under Eastern Railway’s Sealdah Main section.

The train had left Sealdah station at 3.20 a.m. and reached Titagarh station at 3.55 a.m. The blast took place just after a person boarded the train at Titagarh.

Earlier the West Bengal CID had claimed that two groups travelling in the train clashed and hurled crude bombs at each other.

The NIA took over the investigation July 3 as per an home ministry order dated June 26 and registering a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons, attempt to murder, wrongful restraint as well as of the Explosive Substances Act and the Railway Act.

Including this case, the agency, as of now, has registered a total of 103 cases. The judgment in at least 14 cases has been given, while conviction has been ordered in 12 cases. However, charge sheets have been filed in only 60 cases.

“The West Bengal Police has been particularly slow in reacting to such incidents. They had a similar slow reaction when the Burdwan episode was first reported,” said the official, referring to the October 2 accidental blast took place inside a house in which two Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants were killed and another injured and unearthed the group’s conspiracy to overthrow the democratically-elected government in Bangladesh.

“Most of the blasts in West Bengal are being passed off as minor episodes and results of political rivalry. So we will also keep focus on earlier activities of political parties,” he said.

According to the official, the NIA had unearthed several bomb factories during the Burdwan probe. “As bombs are prepared locally, it might be the handiwork of two gangs,” he said.




This image released by Disney Theatrical Productions shows, from second left, Michael James Scott as Genie, Michael Maliakel as Aladdin, and Shoba Narayan as Jasmine after a performance of the Broadway musical "Aladdin" in New York on Sept. 28, 2021

As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — "Aladdin." Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them.

That shared love has gone full-circle this month as Narayan and Maliakel lead the Broadway company of the musical "Aladdin" out of the pandemic, playing Princess Jasmine and the hero from the title, respectively.

Keep Reading Show less

Bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskeys are displayed at Rossi's Deli in San Francisco

Jack Daniel's is the world's most popular whiskey brand, but until recently, few people knew the liquor was created by Nathan "Nearest" Green, an enslaved Black man who mentored Daniel.

"We've always known," says Debbie Staples, a great-great-granddaughter of Green's who heard the story from her grandmother. … "He made the whiskey, and he taught Jack Daniel. And people didn't believe it … it's hurtful. I don't know if it was because he was a Black man."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Aksh yadav on Unsplash

Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, The T20 Pavillion, a bespoke cricket-themed luxury stay that transforms the Presidential Suite at Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel and Residences into a classic cricket stadium.

The suite offers guests an all-inclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience during the India vs Pakistan ICC Men's T20 World Cup match on October 24, 2021, packed with quirks and luxuries that is sure to satisfy even the biggest cricket enthusiast. Additionally, as a part of the experience, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to meet Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor at The T20 Pavilion.

Keep reading... Show less