Fear Grips Bamutia as Explosions Rock Residential Areas Amidst Foreign Liquor License Battle

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, January 31, 2024: In a disturbing incident that took place on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, two residences were targeted in a bombing episode in the Kalibazar area of Bamutia under West Tripura District. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties in the attack, but the local community finds itself gripped by fear.

The incident appears to be linked to the ongoing controversy surrounding the establishment of a new foreign liquor store at Kalibazar. Tensions have escalated between locals and those advocating for the opening of the liquor store, resulting in conflicts and legal disputes.

The targeted bombing took place near the construction site of the proposed foreign liquor shop, specifically at Sahadev Sarkar’s residence on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday. Despite the late hour, no casualties were reported as all residents were inside the house.

Sources reveal that the conflict traces back to the Excise department’s tender process in October 2023, where local businessman Pranab Saha emerged as the highest bidder. Allegations suggest that the second-highest bidder attempted to sabotage Saha’s bid, resorting to intimidation tactics. This included offering a substantial sum to property owner Samir Das to deny space to Saha and, when unsuccessful, employing local goons to intimidate Das, even resorting to physical assault on Samir’s brother, Malay Das.

Failing in their attempts to secure the liquor license, the second bidder allegedly resorted to violence by hurling bombs in the Kalibazar area. Authorities acted swiftly, with the alleged perpetrator, Himangshu Biswas, involved in the bombing, subsequently interrogated by the Bamutia outpost police, sources added.

The situation escalated further when another bomb was reportedly thrown at the house of Kalpana Biswas. Bamutia outpost police, aided by local residents, responded promptly, finding a hand-made explosive device at the scene. The incident has left the community in a state of fear and heightened tension.

As investigations takes place, locals anxiously await resolution and a return to normalcy in the troubled Kalibazar area. Authorities assure the public that measures are being taken to ensure their safety and bring those responsible for the bombings to justice.

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