NHRC issues notice to Bengal government over blast at Malda firecracker factory

By Indrajit Kundu: Taking cognisance of a firecracker blast case in West Bengal’s Malda district, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued a show cause notice to the West Bengal government. The incident took place on May 23, in which two people died.

Cases of blasts have been fairly common in several places across Bengal. Three such blasts happened in the state, resulting in the death of 16 people in a span of eight days.

NHRC took the step upon observing the contents of media reports about the blast incidents. It noted that such incidents, if true, amount to the violation of the human rights of the victims of the blast.

Bengal’s Birbhum district also saw blasts in places like Egra, Bhangore and Durajpur. Locals in Malda have alleged that illegal hoarding of firecrackers and carbide is taking place just a few meters away from a police post.

The human rights body said there is a lack of supervision by the state authorities, which is resulting in such repeated incidents within a short period.

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It has also issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, West Bengal calling for a detailed report in the matter within 4 weeks. NHRC said the report should include the status of the FIR registered by the police, an update on medical treatment of the victims and compensation, if any, granted to families of those deceased or injured.

“The Commission would also like to know about the action taken against the delinquent officers responsible for the tragedy,” NHRC said in its notice.

“It may be recalled that the Commission had recently taken suo motu cognizance of a similar incident in the East Medinipore district of the State wherein at least nine persons had died and many sustained injuries after a blast at an illegal fireworks factory,” it further said.

The West Bengal government is yet to submit a report on the matter.

Also Read: Bengal police probe blast incidents in Birbhum, over 3,000 detonators recovered

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