A powerful blast tore down the building of a madrassa here on Tuesday, killing the Imam of the adjacent mosque who was apparently the sole occupant of the premises locked from outside, a senior police officer said. Residents of the Nautola locality in Town police station area were rattled by the loud explosion that took place around 8 am, said Banka Superintendent of Police Arvind Kumar Gupta.
He said a police party prised open the padlocked gates and entered the premises, finding it desolate with just a mound of debris on a pathway that connected the seminary to the mosque. With nobody found inside and people living in the neighbourhood not coming forward with any helpful clues, a team of forensic experts was called for assistance.
“In the afternoon, we began hearing reports that Imam sahib is injured. Our men visited the site of the explosion where nobody had an idea of the cleric’s whereabouts.Enquiries made with local hospitals also made no headway,” Gupta said.
“In the evening, we heard that the body of the Imam, identified as Abdul Sattar Mobin (33), was spotted close to a secluded area near the locality. We rushed to the spot and the body was taken into custody,” he said. There were injury marks on the entire body. It is not clear, though, whether the blast killed him or whether he was buried alive in the debris, the SP added.
He said further investigation was underway with regard to the cleric, who was a resident of Deoghar district in adjoining Jharkhand, and efforts were being made to trace members of the mosque’s managing committee for more information. Both the madrassa and the mosque have been shut for long in view of the Covid-induced lockdown, which was clamped across Bihar over a month ago.