A huge haul of explosives, allegedly being routed to Maoists via Bihar and Jharkhand, was seized from the city and neighbouring districts by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) who arrested six people in this connection on Thursday.
30,000 detonators, 20,000 gelatin rods and 600 kilos ammonium nitrate were seized from Kanpur’s Ghatampur area while 92 bags of ammonium nitrate, 20 bags of gelatin sticks, 2,000 DTH detonators, 3,000 electronic and 800 simple detonators were seized from Moth in Jalaun and Jhansi, a senior ATS official said.
Charan Singh, the pointsman at Moth, Vikrant Kumar Singh, Pankaj, of Sasaram in Bihar, Nirbhay Singh, Roshan Mishra and Som Narayan Singh, from Jharkhand, have been arrested, he said.
“Detonators and explosives were being arranged from Kanpur and Jhansi, and taken to Jharkhand,” the official said, adding that they were pursuing leads to nab the “end-users”.
A statement by ATS said that the operation was headed by deputy SP Manish Sonkar.
Vikrant Singh was procuring explosives and detonators from Charan Singh for the last two years. Last year, he moved two truckloads of explosives and detonators to Jharkhand four times, officials said.
ATS successfully followed the money trail between them before making the arrest.
Charan Singh, who had a licence to stock ammonium nitrate and gelatin sticks till 2011, used to procure ammonium nitrate and detonators from people who have licence to stock them.
“Such people and firms fudged records to meet his demand. He even secured high quantity of explosives directly from companies and many of them are now under investigation,” officials said.
Last month, ATS recovered 20,000 detonators from an abandoned Santro car in Jajmau near here. The car had a Bihar registration number. An Allahabad-based number plate was also found inside the vehicle.
So far, 30 people have been questioned in Varanasi, Bihar and other place, helping investigators establish that the car was stolen from Varanasi.
Besides Maoists, terrorists are known to use the detonators, ATS officials said.
ATS has sought the help of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the hunt, sources said.
In the ongoing operations that now stretches to Bihar and Jharkhand, the UP ATS has concluded that the explosives and detonators it seized were being routed to Maoists.
People arrested in Jalaun and Kanpur told police that they were to deliver the consignment to Om Prakash Chowdhary and Akshayavat Mahto in Sasaram.
Bihar police have confirmed both Chowdhary and Mahto were wanted for supplying explosives to Maoists.
UP ATS were conducting raids in Sasaram with teams of Bihar police to track down specific end-users.