A 17-year-old boy was killed after a container bomb found in a landfill exploded while trying to open it in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Saturday, police said. The incident occurred in the Ajamtala area behind Rahara police station, about 15 km from Kolkata, a senior officer said.
The teenager’s grandfather, who has been identified as Sheikh Sahil, discovered the bomb at the dump and brought it home without knowing that it contained explosives. The 17-year-old threw the bomb at a lamppost in his attempt to open it, which led to the explosion, he said.
“Sheikh Sahil was first taken to Barrackpore BN Bose Ward Hospital and then to Sagar Dutta Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” said a senior police officer. A large police force was deployed in the area when the incident triggered panic among the locals. An investigation is underway to find out who stored the bomb there, he said.
“We are investigating to find out how the bomb reached the dump. A forensic team has collected samples from the site,” he said, adding that an autopsy was performed. In April, four children in the Maldas village of Gopalnagar near the border between India and Bangladesh were injured after the raw bombs they were playing with, and adopted them for balls, exploded.
They had found the bombs under a tree near a mosque. Five people were arrested in connection with this. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked West Bengal’s Secretary-General to appear before it with a report on the incident at 3pm on 20 May.
Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently ordered an attempt to seize illegal weapons and ammunition throughout the state. Several people have been arrested and bombs seized from their possession in districts such as Malda, Birbhum and North and South 24 Parganas.
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