Bhubaneswar: The Balanga Police station in poll bound Pipili area of Puri district was fully damaged in a massive blast that occurred last mind-night.
The explosion was so powerful that the entire office building collapsed while almost all the office items, documents, electronics items were destroyed in the fire.
The Sentry of the Malkhana in the police station, Saroj Behera narrowly escaped the blast while the other staffs were on by-poll duty. A large cache of explosives seized following raids in different times and stored in the Malkhana. Police suspect those caused the explosion.
Soon after receiving the information, Central range IG Narasingha Bhola and Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh visited the destroyed police station.
“All electric equipment and furniture of the building were damaged in the blast. There is no injury or casualty in the blast. We have initiated an inquiry into the incident. Additional SP, P Pradhan has been asked to do a preliminary inquiry and submit a report today itself,” said SP Singh.
A detailed and thorough investigation will be conducted after analyzing all documents and reports, he said.
District level scientific and bomb disposal teams have already reached the spot while a team from the State forensic lab will also investigate it, Singh said.
“If any police official is found guilty in the inquiry report, strong action will be taken against him. A lot of seized explosives were there. So, we have to find out the particular explosive that caused the blast and who was in-charge of that case,” said Bhola.
Following this blast, all police stations have been directed to either defuse the seized explosives or store those in a safe place to avoid such an incident, the IG of Odisha police said.
The police station will now run from a temporary building and very soon, fund will be sought to construct a new building for the PS, he added.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra demanded an impartial probe into the incident. “Gang war and bombing has been reported in the Pipili area for a long time. Recently, a bomb was hurled at the BJP office at Satasankha, which was reported in the media,” Patra said. Where the police itself is not safe, how can they ensure the safety of the people?, he questioned.
“If that was the case, why was the stock not disposed of? Besides, it also needs to be inspected whether the explosion was caused from outside or occurred inside the police station. People need answers soon because an election process is underway and there are chances that such incidents may influence voting,” said Patra.
In his reaction, senior BJD leader and minister Samir Dash said it was suspected that the explosion occurred due to the explosives seized in 2018 and solar batteries were also stored there. “There is no relation with the by-election to this incident,” Dash said.
The long-pending by-poll to Pipili assembly constituency will be held on September 30. Bye-poll to the picturesque assembly constituency was necessitated after its sitting BJD MLA Pradip Maharathy succumbed to Covid-19 in October 2020. The result will be declared on October 3.