Bomb ‘prank’ at Kulathoor market in Thiruvananthapuram keeps cops on their toes

Officers attached with the Kazhakootam police said they are probing the case with utmost seriousness.
Representative image
Representative image

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kazhakootam police were on their toes after materials resembling country-made explosives were recovered from Kulathoor market on Wednesday morning.

As many as five pieces of paper balls tied with fibre were recovered from an empty fruit-carrying cardboard by the local traders by 9 am and handed over to the police. The matter garnered attention in the wake of Tuesday’s bomb explosion at Eranjoli in Kannur that claimed a life. The police were also on tenterhooks as Kulathoor has a strong crime history – both political and gang-related. However, by evening, there was a twist in the plot as the bomb disposal squad found that the paper balls had no metal balls or gunpowder embedded on them, prompting the police to assume that they were ‘pranked’.

“There was no metal content or gunpowder in any of the five packets. There were some rock pieces, a few scoops of sand, a bit of ash and paper pieces. It seems someone has played a prank on the cops,” said a senior official of the city police.

Officers attached with the Kazhakootam police said they are probing the case with utmost seriousness. “We want to know whether anybody has tried to exploit the situation that arose after the Eranjoli incident. We are also checking whether there was any political conspiracy behind the incident as the assembly session is on. Whether the act was a prank or not, we are not taking it lightly and severe legal action will be taken against the culprits,” said an officer.

The Opposition on Wednesday had raised the Eranjoli blast incident in the assembly alleging that the CPM was promoting bomb culture to target political opponents.

Earlier, the police had suspected involvement of local criminal gangs having political patronage behind the incident. Kulathoor has a history of political clashes between the CPM and Congress workers. The place also has been witnessing turf war between rival gangs, who vie for supremacy. In 2022, the Railway police recovered 12 country-made bombs from near the railway track at Kazhakootam. As many as five people, including two Assam natives, were arrested in this case. The bombs were made for a criminal gang to attack the rival gang members.

In the same year, a 35-year-old Thumba native was attacked with bombs near Thumba by a three-member gang. Rajan Cleetus was attacked using crude explosives by a gang led by a history-sheeter Leon Johnson, resulting in the farmer’s leg getting blown up.

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The New Indian Express