The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has promptly registered a First Information Report in the Burdwan blast case that occurred last week. This follows the Centre taking suo motu action without waiting for the West Bengal government’s advice. Such an action was deemed necessary because of the international ramifications of the incident in which two were killed. Right from the beginning, the Mamata Banerjee government has been denying its terrorist angle. However, evidence gathered from the site suggests that plans of a terrorist attack were afoot, a point now conceded by the state government. However, only a thorough investigation by the NIA will unravel all the mysteries and bring the culprits to book.
There are allegations that some leaders of the ruling TMC are involved in the blast. The Bangladesh foreign minister, who visited Delhi recently, is reported to have told the Centre that some influential people in the border state have been funnelling money to some extremist bodies in Bangladesh, which are against the Sheikh Hasina government. The possibility that the bombs being made in Burdwan were for the Bangladeshi affiliate of al-Qaeda cannot be dismissed. Recently, the al-Qaeda chief had announced the constitution of a South Asia unit to coordinate its terrorist activities in the region. That India has been a target of al-Qaeda for a long time is well known.
It must be said to the credit of Dhaka that it has been cooperating with India in the fight against terror. There was a time when insurgents from India found a safe haven in Dhaka and its suburbs. The insurgents from the Northeast no longer enjoy the luxury of striking in India and disappearing into Bangladesh. The Hasina government has been relentlessly pursuing all terrorist elements operating in the country, raising the spectre of such elements finding a sanctuary in West Bengal through the porous borders. There are politicians in the state who welcome such illegal cross-border activities. The NIA will do well to expeditiously hold the inquiry and punish the guilty.