West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the Khadikul village under the Sahara Panchayat Area at Egra in East Midnapore district, where eleven people lost their lives in a gruesome explosion at an illegal firecracker factory on May 16, spoke to the affected families on Saturday and apologised to the people, saying, ‘ The incident has opened my eyes. ‘
Stating that she hasn’t come here to do any politics, Banerjee said, ‘ The Egra incident has opened my eyes. Had the Intelligence got the input, the incident could have been averted. ‘
Banerjee mentioned that a committee has been formed under the State Chief Secretary to set up a cluster for green crackers instead of firecrackers.
The cluster will be set up away from populous area, she added.
‘ Sometimes poor people are hardpressed to work in illegal firecrackers factory, but it will have to be stopped, ‘ she said adding, ” If anyone indulges in illegal firecrackers, the locals should inform local Police Station OC. If the concerned OC doesn’t take action, I will change him within two days. “
She handed over cheques amounting Rs 2.5 Lac as compensation to the next kin of each bereaved family and also gave appointment letters for the job of Homeguard to one member of each bereaved family.
From tomorrow they will join work, she said.
It might be mentioned that the mastermind of the massive explosion Krishnapada Bag alias Bhanu Bag, who was arrested by the sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police, succumbed to his injuries at a private nursing home in Cuttack in Odisha.
His son and nephew Prithvijit Bag and Indrajit Bag respectively were also arrested.