In a major shocker for the sleuths investigating the explosion at an illegal firecracker factory at Egra in West Bengal's East Midnapore district that claimed nine lives, the prime accused and the owner of the said factory, Krishnapada Bag a.k.a. Bhanu died at a hospital in Odisha's Cuttack on Friday.
He was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the West Bengal Police on Thursday only along with his son, Prithvijit Bag and nephew Biswajit Bag. However, Bhanu, who himself suffered severe burn injuries in that explosion, could not be released from the hospital and brought back to West Bengal.
Confirming the death of Bhanu, the district police superintendent of East Midnapore K. Amarnath claimed that attempts are being made to bring Bhanu's body back to West Bengal.
Following the death of Bhanu, his son and nephew are the two prime accused now. His nephew, Biswajit has been taken into custody of CID. After the cremation, the police will also take his son, Prithvijit in custody.
State police sources said that Bhanu got admitted to the hospital at Cuttack by misleading the authorities there. He told them that his injury was due to a cylinder blast at a function.
On Thursday, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court directed CID to continue with the probe on the explosion, but after including sections of the Explosives Act in the FIR.
In the initial FIR filed by the police, only sections under the Indian Penal Code and West Bengal Fire Service Act were included for which the state police attracted severe criticism.
Although the initial police investigation has suggested that the explosion was probably from the firecracker manufacturing raw material stocked at the illegal factory, the opposition parties have claimed that the impact of the explosion proves that not firecrackers but crude bombs were being manufactured there.