File photo of the Coronation Bridge

Kalimpong: A video circulating on social media shows a suspected bomb blast on top the iconic Coronation Bridge in North Bengal. A truck was blown up at the historic British-era infrastructure in Kalimpong on Thursday morning.

A 22-km stretch known as the Chicken’s Neck Corridor connects the Northeast region with the rest of India. While on one side of this corridor is Bangladesh, on the other side is Nepal, making it strategically important. On this narrow corridor lies the Coronation Bridge, also known as the Sevoke Bridge, over the Teesta river.

According to initial reports, the blast was part of movie shoot, for which no prior permission was taken or granted, Superintendent of Police, Kalimpong District, Aparajita Rai told EastMojo.

“As per preliminary inputs, it was a film shooting this morning. An enquiry has been initiated. No prior permission was taken,” the SP said.

Questions are, however, being raised as to how an iconic bridge, which has been deemed fragile, was used for a film shoot involving a bomb blast. The incident also resulted in massive outpouring of outrage on social media.

The Coronation Bridge was named as such to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. The bridge was completed at a cost of Rs 4 lakh in 1941.

The foundation for the bridge was laid by John Anderson, the then Governor of Bengal in 1937. Locals call the bridge as Baghpool, meaning tiger bridge, because of the two tiger statues on both sides of the bridge.

Despite its age and poor upkeep, the bridge still serves its purpose to connect the Northeast with rest of India and forms the most important connect between North Bengal and the Northeast, while also connecting districts like Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri with rest of Bengal. Transportation of essentials and movement of security forces are also dependent on this bridge.

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