An Apology and Compensation by CM Mamata Banerjee To Cracker Factory Explosion Victims

Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of Bengal, apologizes to the families of those who died in the cracker factory explosion. Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, gave each victim’s family a 2.5 lakh cheque and a government job as compensation.

Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, went to Egra in the East Midnapore district on Saturday and apologized to the families of the ten people who died on May 16 in an explosion at an illegal firecracker plant in Khadikul village.

“I bow my head and apologize to the affected families for this incident. Let me know if I can help you in any other way,”  Banerjee said after giving each family a 2.5 lakh check and a government job as compensation.

Krishnapada Bag, the owner of the plant and the 11th victim died at a private hospital in the nearby state of Odisha just hours after being arrested.

The explosion tore the factory shed apart, and the workers’ dead bodies were so badly burned and cut up that they could not be identified, cops said. The police have caught Bag’s wife and nephew.

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On May 16, the CID was asked to look into something by the chief minister, who is also in charge of the home department.

Banerjee said on Saturday that top police officers didn’t have any information about the factory and that the officer-in-charge (OC) of the Egra police station didn’t do anything about repeated complaints from people in Khadikul.

She said,

“I urge local people to maintain vigil and inform the OC if anyone makes illegal firecrackers. If the OC doesn’t act, inform me. I will transfer him. The OC who served here has been transferred because he did not act on repeated complaints. Senior officers did not have intelligence inputs. Otherwise, this would not have happened.”

When the OC of the Egra police station, Mousam Chakraborty, went to the blast site on May 16, the locals yelled at him and said that he did nothing even though the same factory had exploded six times in the past few years. They said that one of these things had hurt Krishnapada Bag.

The chief minister also said:

“The deaths at the illegal firecracker factory have opened our eyes. We have set up a committee headed by the chief secretary. A lot of people work in illegal firecracker factories. I will ensure that they don’t lose their jobs. The government will set up clusters at locations away from human habitations. Factory owners can only set up units at these clusters to produce environment-friendly green crackers.”

She also added:

“Making firecrackers is illegal. But many give in to greed. This incident is an eye-opener. I have come here to express my grief for the affected families and help them. We are giving each family ₹2.5 lakh. One member from each family will also be recruited as home guards.”

Gaurango Maity, who lost his son and brother, said, “The ex-gratia amount is not much, but it will help us for some time. It’s the work that matters.”

In Bengal, there was a political fight because of the bombing. Sukanta Majumdar, the state head of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that powerful bombs were being made at the factory to cause trouble during the upcoming panchayat elections.

Compensation by CM Mamata Banerjee To Cracker Factory Explosion Victims
Compensation by CM Mamata Banerjee To Cracker Factory Explosion Victims

The BJP, which runs the Khadikul gram council, went to the Calcutta high court and asked for an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). On May 18, the court told the CID to keep looking into the case.

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“Some people tried to politicize the issue. I have not come here today to do politics,” the chief minister said before leaving Egra on Saturday afternoon. After Banerjee talked with the families who had been hurt, the BJP shot at her.

Samik Bhattacharya, the party’s leading spokesman in Bengal, said, 

“These tactics can no longer fool the people of this state. Nobody has any control on the Trinamool Congress. From what she said, we can only assume that more bomb making units are coming up before the elections.”

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