There was panic at the Howrah station, the gateway to Kolkata, following the discovery of explosives in a bag on a platform Thursday, an official said.

“Some railway hawkers felt suspicious when they found the bag lying unattended on platform number 2 for a long time. They informed the police,” Additional Director General of Police (Railways) Dilip Mitra said.

Personnel of the bomb squad of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and sniffer dogs were rushed to the spot, and the area was cordoned off.

“When the sniffer dogs confirmed that there were explosives inside, the bag was taken by our bomb disposal experts to the nearby Hooghly riverbank for defusing,” Mitra said.

The nature of the explosives and the quantity were yet to be ascertained, he said.

Security at all important stations have been beefed up following the incident.

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