The centre on Thursday decided to hand over to the National Investigation Agency the probe into the bomb blast in Burdwan in West Bengal in which the role of terror groups is suspected, a decision which the Trinamool Congress government said was taken suo motu.
It is perhaps for the first time that the centre has taken a suo motu decision to hand over a probe into a bomb blast case in any part of the country to the NIA since this premier agency was created in 2008 after the Mumbai terror attack.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist, while demanding that the Centre hand over the case to NIA has alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government was trying to hush up the matter. The BJP also accused the state government of "resisting" a NIA probe.
The decision to hand over the case to the NIA was taken by the Centre in view of international ramifications of the case where some nationals from neighbouring Bangladesh were also allegedly involved, official sources said in Delhi.
A notification was issued under the NIA Act and the agency will be registering a first information report on Friday, the sources said. The union home ministry had received reports from central agencies and the state government about the incident in which two suspected militants -- Shakil Ahmed and Sovan Mandal -- were killed and another man Hasan Saheb was injured in the explosion on October 2 at a house.
The West Bengal government tonight said the centre took the decision suo motu and "no opinion has been given by the state government side". "We have informed the centre about the incident and no opinion has been given from the state government side", a highly-placed state government source said in Kolkata.
"The centre has the powers to initiate a suo motu probe in this regard and this is what the ministry of home affairs has done", the source said.
The source added, "The state government has the copy of the MHA order dated on Thursday which clearly says that the NIA has taken up the matter to probe suo motu. The centre while initiating a suo motu probe by NIA can also work with the respective state governments police, other agencies and other state governments, if required so."
The state government, which appeared to be initially reluctant to accept that the incident in Burdwan had suspected terror links, handed over the case to the state CID after material collected from the blast site showed that some terror group was assembling bombs in the house and planning to carry out a strike.
Grenades, chemicals used in making explosives, a book on how to trigger explosion, jihadi literature, a video on jihadi training and a map of important locations in Burdwan district were seized by a CID team from the house where the blast occurred.
A large number of watch dials, SIM cards and other tools required to make improvised explosive devices were also seized. Four persons, including two women, have been arrested so far in the case.