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Beypore blast: forensic experts yet to give report

Biju Govind

Over 60 persons questioned in the case


  • Bomb explosion may have caused blast
  • Investigations being carried out at Karuvanthuruthy
  • Government yet to reimburse amount for retrieving wreckage

    KOZHIKODE: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch- Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) probing the blast in a fibre boat at the Beypore fishing harbour recently is looking into the possibility that the blast may have been a bomb explosion. The team has already gathered information that the blast was done intentionally. Preliminary results of the samples collected from the blast site also established that they contained gelignite sticks and detonators. Experts at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Thiruvananthapuram are conducting a thorough examination into the intensity of the explosion, Crime Branch sources told The Hindu here on Tuesday.

    The explosion occurred at 5 a.m. on September 17 leaving only a portion of the bow and stern of the boat without being destroyed. The blast occurred a few minutes before 35 fishermen were to board the boat for deep-sea fishing. The impact of the explosion led to the destruction of a cabin of another boat that was anchored adjacent to the boat.

    Sources said that the investigations centred on two aspects - whether the blast had been carried out with the consent of the employees and owners of the boat or with the involvement of other parties. The motivation behind the planned incident was not known although it has been reported that the boat owners were in a huge debt, Crime Branch sources said.

    The wreckage of the boat that sunk into the seabed was salvaged 10 days after the explosion. FSL Assistant Director P.D. Somarajan had inspected the site of the blast a couple of days after the destroyed boat had been pulled ashore.

    Incidentally, the investigation team had sought funds from the State Government for lifting the wreckage. Sanction had also been given for the purpose. However the money was still to reach the Crime Branch in Kozhikode to be given to the Mappilla Khalasis who lifted the wreckage. Only token money had been paid to them and that too from the purse of a senior investigating official, sources said.

    So far, over 60 persons, including boat employees, workers of other vessels, port employees, residents, security and police personnel, have been interrogated. Investigations have been centred on Karuvanthuruthy, located opposite Beypore. It was here the boat had been repaired during the period from August 18 to September 16. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch itself had seized weapons and bombs from the area during its investigations into the massacre of nine people at the coastal village of Marad on May 2, 2003. Intelligence wing had earlier given warnings about imparting arms training to people in this region.

    Sources said that investigating sleuths have not been able to get clinching evidences about the culprits even after the incident occurred three weeks ago. Investigations are being carried out under the supervision of the Superintendent of Police (SP), T.V. Kamalakshan and assisted by five Deputy Superintendents of Police, four Circle Inspectors and a few police constables.

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