A 17-year-old boy was killed after a container bomb found in a garbage dump exploded when he tried to open it in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Saturday, police said. The incident happened in the Ajamtala area located behind Rahara police station, around 15 km from Kolkata, a senior officer said.

The grandfather of the teenager, who has been identified as Sheikh Sahil, discovered the bomb in the garbage dump and brought it home without knowing that it contained explosives. The 17-year-old threw the bomb at a lamppost in his bid to open it, leading to the explosion, he said.

“Sheikh Sahil was first rushed to Barrackpore B N Bose Sub-divisional Hospital, and then to Sagar Dutta Hospital where he was declared brought dead,” a senior police officer said. A large contingent of police was deployed in the area as the incident triggered panic among the locals. An investigation is underway to find who kept the bomb there, he said.

“We are investigating to find out how the bomb reached the garbage dump. A forensic team has collected samples from the spot,” he said, adding that a post-mortem examination was conducted. In April, four children were injured in Malda’s Gopalnagar village near the India-Bangladesh border after the crude bombs they were playing with, mistaking those for balls, exploded.

They had found the bombs underneath a tree near a mosque. Five people were arrested in this connection. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked the West Bengal chief secretary to appear before it with a report on the incident at 3 PM on May 20.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently ordered a drive to seize illegal arms and ammunition across the state. Several people have been arrested and bombs seized from their possession in districts such as Malda, Birbhum, and North and South 24 Parganas.

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