Siluguri, Dec 26:
Five people were killed and four others injured when suspected Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) militants triggered a bomb blast in Jalpaiguri district of northern West Bengal Thursday evening, police said.
“Five people have been killed. Some others are injured. Our reading is that the blast was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) kept in a cycle,” said Inspector General of Police, North Bengal, Sashikant Pujari.
Jalpaiguri’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Prabhat Chakraborty told IANS that four injured people were admitted in Jalpaiguri District Hospital.
The blast occurred around 7 p.m. in Bajrapara area.
“We suspect KLO militants are behind the blast. Recently some of their activists have been arrested. The blast could be a retaliatory action on their part,” said Pujari.
The blast took place two days ahead of Dec 28, the foundation day of KLO, which came up in 1996.
Following the incident, a high alert has been sounded across north Bengal.
“There is high alert also in the international borders with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh and the Bengal-Assam inter-state border,” said Pujari.
A bomb disposal squad has already reached the spot from Siliguri in Darjeeling district.
A forensic team would arrive Friday.
Two days back, three KLO militants were rounded up in Jalpaiguri district for their alleged involvement in extortion from tea garden owners and other businessmen from north Bengal by issuing threats.
A separatist outfit, the KLOhas been demanding a Kamtapur state comprising six districts – Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Malda – of West Bengal and four contiguous districts of Assam – Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara.