November 10, 2014 / 3:23 PM / 3 years ago

Explosion heard near anti-terrorism agency in India's Kolkata

KOLKATA India (Reuters) - An explosion was heard near an office of India’s federal counter-terrorism agency in the city of Kolkata on Monday, police and home office officials said.

A senior police official investigating the incident said no trace of explosive had been found in the area near the National Investigation Agency (NIA) office in the eastern city.

“There was a loud explosion-like sound heard around 7 pm in the area. We reached the spot but there was no trace of any explosive,” Rajeev Kumar, commissioner of Bidhannagar City Police, under which the area falls, told Reuters.

A home ministry official said nobody had been injured. The official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the ministry planned to send a team from Delhi to investigate.

The NIA is investigating an earlier explosion in Burdwan, near Kolkata, in October that the agency believes was a botched plot by Bangladeshi Islamist militants to kill Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

A Kolkata court on Sunday gave the NIA custody of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) commander Sajid, a Bangladeshi national who West Bengal police arrested on Saturday in connection with the blast. Sajid’s arrest followed the detention of another suspect on Thursday.

The NIA was created in response to the siege of Mumbai, India’s financial capital, when Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people in a commando-style assault on two luxury hotels, a train station and a Jewish centre in 2008.

Its office in Kolkata opened in September.

Additional reporting by Rupam Jain Nair and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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