On Saturday, September 17, a powerful bomb exploded at Titagarh’s Free India High School situated in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district. The explosion occurred at about 11 AM when the classes were still going on. This led to panic among students and teachers, and the administration immediately informed the police. It was discovered that the crude bomb had exploded on the school’s terrace.
Reports suggest the explosion blew off a section of the school’s roof. Titagarh police arrived at the location and dispersed debris from the blast.DC, Central Zone Barrackpore, Aashish Mourya has confirmed that no one was injured in the blast, but an investigation into the matter has been initiated.
“There was a bomb blast. Nobody was hurt. The probe is underway. CCTV footage will be examined, and residents will be questioned. If necessary, forensic teams would be called,” he added.
Mourya further remarked, “When I walked to the school, I noticed a bomb exploded on the stairs,” claimed Zaleel Akhtar, vice-president of Titagarh Municipality. The bomb appears to have been thrown from an adjacent structure.”
Khalid Tayyab, a teacher at the Urdu school, informed, “The blast was very loud. We were in the staff room at the time. We initially assumed that a bomb had exploded outside, and we noticed smoke coming out of the school. Then we got to the terrace and saw that the debris was all over the place. A serious accident may have occurred if the explosion occurred during the lunch break. Though such instances are not unheard of in Titagarh, a bomb explosion in a school is a first of its kind.
Reports from Sunday, September 18, confirm that the police have arrested four individuals in connection with the explosion. The accused, aged 18-19 years old, were apprehended in the Kamarhati and Titagarh areas around midnight. “We are trying to explore all possible aspects by interrogating them. One of the arrested hails from Kamarhati while the rest are from Titagarh,” said an official at the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate.
The officer added that preliminary investigations revealed that the accused had initially planned to hurl the crude bomb at the school gate but changed their plan upon finding the spot was crowded.
He further detailed that the accused had climbed onto the roof of an adjacent building to execute the act. Three among those arrested are former students of the school. It is alleged that the primary motive behind this attack was a personal enmity between the accused and a few other students of the school. Ten crude bombs have been recovered from the accused’s residence during a search operation by the police.
Weighing in on the situation, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh complained, “Even school students cannot feel safe in Bengal”. “The education sector has begun its final journey in the state under the Trinamool Congress rule… Youths are roaming around with pistols and bombs… as there are no jobs in West Bengal,” he pointed out.