Probe into Hubballi explosion intensified, says Bommai

A bomb disposal squad personnel carries a bucket, which contained a parcel allegedly triggering a minor blast, to a safer place, at Hubballi railway station on October 21, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday stated that the investigation into the case of low-intensity explosion at the Hubballi railway station is intensified, in coordination with Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra police. 

Samples of the explosives are sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and the report is expected to give more details. Similar explosives were also found in Andhra Pradesh earlier. Investigation is being held to trace the origin and destination of the explosives being found in a train, as well as the intention behind it, Bommai said. 

Also read — Hubballi blast: Maha police, ATS, IB join probe

When asked about the possibility of terror sleeper cells being active in the state, he noted that both central and state investigative agencies are investigating the issue. 

Meanwhile, Kannada and Culture Minister C T Ravi felt that the blast at the railway station shows that sleeper cells supporting terrorists are active. Stating that it is a very serious issue, he said that Hubballi has a history of terror links working here. In 2000, a bomb was exploded in a church. Thorough investigation should be conducted and the very roots of such activities should be removed, he added.

Security lapse

South Western Railway (SWR) general manager A K Singh admitted that lapse by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) staff is prima facie in the blast case. 

Also read — Explosion at Hubballi railway station, one injured

SWR chief security commissioner is conducting a fact finding exercise to find out why the suspected material was not properly secured by the RPF staff immediately after it was found. Based on the report, action would be taken against the guilty, Singh said. 

Government Railway Police (GRP) Deputy Superintendent of Police, B B Patil, who is leading the probe into the blast case, said that teams have been sent to Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to collect information. 

Investigation is being conducted from all angles, including why a Maharashtra MLA's name was written on the bucket containing explosives, which was found abandoned at Vijayawada- Hubballi Amaravati Express train, he added.

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