Two days after boxes of live and used bullets and explosives were found inside an old well at the Red Fort complex, more explosives and ammunition were recovered from the spot during the ongoing search and cleaning operation.
The operation is being carried out under the supervision of the National Security Guard (NSG) teams deployed at the historic monument.
Jatin Narwal, deputy commissioner of police (north), said that the seventeenth century monument was closed for visitors on Tuesday but would be open on Wednesday.
“Since the search operations are underway, it was important to keep visitors away from the monument. Monday was not a problem as the Red Fort remains closed on the day,” he said.
A senior police officer said 39 mortars, two grenades, white phosphorous, detonators and ammunition were found in the well on Tuesday. The NSG teams searched the well on the premises of the Red Fort using underwater cameras and recovered more ammunition and explosives.
“After the extensive search operation, the NSG teams have recommended the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to seal the well as there was no chance of any further recovery of ammo and explosives. The water quality of the well was also toxic. The cleaning operation is on,” said the officer.
On Saturday evening, five mortars, 44 live rounds and 87 fired rounds were recovered in more than four boxes that were found at the bottom of the well while it was being cleaned by the teams of ASI. Delhi Police, fire department, NSG and Army authorities were informed. A bomb disposal squad of NSG reached Red Fort on Monday and conducted a drill to defuse the recovered explosives.
The NSG team took away the entire cache of ammunitions and explosives with the help of an unmanned robotic vehicle covered with a ‘bomb blanket’ to avert any accidental blast from Red Fort to an undisclosed location to defuse the live explosives and ammunitions.
Police said they will not be able to confirm if the explosives are a year old or a century old. “The recovered items were handed to the NSG. They will be able to tell for how long the explosives were lying in the well,” said an officer.