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Hubballi blast: Over a month later, mystery remains unsolved; questions unanswered

An unattended bucket with a lid was founded by RPF personnel inside a train at Hubballi railway station on October 21 and a local vendor was injured in the blast after RPF asked him to open a box lying in the bucket.

Hubballi blast: Over a month later, mystery remains unsolved; questions unanswered
Hubballi, First Published Dec 12, 2019, 10:21 AM IST
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Hubballi: It’s been over a month and yet questions surrounding the low-intensity explosion on a platform at the Hubballi railway station in Karnataka on October 21, remains unanswered.

When will the FSL report be out? In what stage is the investigation? These questions still linger in the heads of locals who were shocked by the sudden mild intensity blast. However, the investigation is still underway, and it looks like police haven’t made much progress.

The area was cordoned off immediately and the suspected explosive material was shifted and buried for further inspection.

The incident occurred on platform number 1, and Hussain Sab Naikwale, a tea vendor, suffered injuries to his right hand. He was taken to Railway Hospital and then shifted to KIMS hospital.

The blast pointed at a major procedural lapse by the Railway Protection Force (RPF), according to the railway police.

According to police, RPF personnel found an unattended bucket with a lid inside a train that had arrived at 11:20 am in Hubballi from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh on October 21. RPF personnel then took the bucket near the station master’s chamber where they tried to check the contents of the bucket, which included some small plastic boxes.

“The RPF asked a local vendor to open a box and that’s when the blast occurred," said a senior official from the Railway police, requesting not to be named.

Deputy Superintendent of Railway Police BB Patil had told reporters that the material, believed to be an explosive, was found in the last coach of the Vijayawada-Hubballi Amaravati Express, which arrived in Hubballi station at 11:17am.

The material, which was in an abandoned bucket, was found by the cleaning staff who informed the Railway Protection Force (RPF). Ravikumar, an RPF personnel, brought the bucket to the station manager’s chamber on platform 1 and Naikwale was with him. Small plastic containers and two round-shaped items, resembling lemons, were found in each box filled with husk.

Patil had also stated that, “A piece of paper, with ‘Prakash Abidkar, Udarghad taluk, Kolhapur district, MS state and MLA Gargoti’ written on it, was glued to the bucket. ‘No BJP No RSS’ was also written on it. Investigation is on and the exact time of blast is yet to be ascertained.” A few Tamil words too were present on the surface of the bucket, he noted.

As passengers ran helter-skelter on hearing the sound, the bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) was summoned.

Residents and locals are still anxious as the mystery behind the blast is yet unsolved. The investigation is underway with not much progress and this has instilled fear in the minds of people.

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