Sixty-one trucks have vanished into thin air with quite a heavy load – 400 tonne explosives and gelatin sticks worth about Rs 1.30 crore in four months.
The trucks were sent from Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals Ltd (RECL) in Dholpur to a trading company, Ganesh Magazine, in Sagar in Madhya Pradesh between April and July.
The buyer was supposed to supply the explosives to mine operators.
Inspector General of Police, Sagar, Avnesh Mangalam told HT that the explosives – the last consignment was supposed to reach Sagar four days ago – may have fallen in wrong hands.
Earlier, some RECL-made detonators were found in Surat, where as many as 29 live bombs were recovered soon after serial blasts rocked Ahmedabad in July 2008, claiming 57 lives.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Umashankar Gupta said efforts were on to trace the missing trucks. The state police have registered a case and sent four teams to Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to trace the trucks.
Sagar district police chief Vijay Kumar Suryavanshi said the police received a letter from RECL on July 5, informing that four explosive-laden trucks were being sent to Ganesh Magazine in Sagar.
During a routine inspection of purchase documents — every explosives deal has to be verified by the local police — the police learnt in July-end that none of the trucks from RECL had ever reached the buyer.
The buyer, Ganesh Magazine, however, never informed the police about the missing trucks. The police then traced Devendra Singh Thakur, one of the partners of Ganesh Magazine and the explosives licence-holder.
Thakur said he had got the licence cancelled in March, as he was not getting along with his partner, Jai Kishan Aswani. It was clear that Aswani went ahead with the 400-tonne explosives purchase deal with a bogus licence.
Mangalam, however, said RECL also should have informed the Explosives Controller’s Office, the police and the other departments about the purchases done between April 19 and June 30.