A suspected mortar shell was found at Vasant Kunj in South Delhi early on Saturday, triggering panic in the locality.
A ragpicker alerted local residents after discovering the explosive at a garbage dumping site in Kishangarh area. The police control room was informed around 8.30 am.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (south) Chinmoy Biswal said personnel from the nearest police station – led by station house officer Gagan Bhaskar – were immediately deployed to the area. They cordoned off the spot, and covered the object with a bomb blanket as an interim measure.
Later, a bomb disposal squad of the National Security Guard arrived at the scene and picked up the explosive using a remotely operated vehicle (a robot used to handle sensitive equipment). The mortar was then placed in a blast-proof vessel for transportation to Manesar, where it would be disposed of in keeping with standard protocol.
Upon conducting a visual inspection, experts identified the shell as an old, foreign-made piece of ordinance with an intact fuse. When asked if the explosive was capable of exploding, Biswal said: “That can be said only after a full-fledged technical investigation. It may not explode even during disposal due to loss of potency.”
A senior police officer said they were enquiring if local residents had seen anybody leaving the object at the dumping site. Footage acquired from CCTV cameras installed in the locality was also being examined for clues, he added.