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Ammo stolen for illegal mining

india Updated: Aug 18, 2010 01:19 IST
Rashpal Singh
Rashpal Singh
Hindustan Times
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A large quantity of explosives, which went missing while being transported from Dholpur in Rajasthan to Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, were meant to be used in illegal mining in Bhilwara and Rajsamand districts of Rajasthan.

This was stated by officials of agencies investigating the disappearance of 61 trucks carrying nearly 400 tonnes of explosives during four months from April till July.

Days after Hindustan Times reported last week that the consignments went missing, four of the 61 trucks were found – without any of the cargo – in Raigarh district of Madhya Pradesh. Another 26 trucks and 150 tonnes of explosives were found in a village in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan on Monday but the owners of the storehouse where the deadly goods were kept are absconding.

Investigators told Hindustan Times that the explosives stored in Bhilwara were to be sold to illegal mine operators in the district and adjoining Rajsamand.

“A large number of illegal mines operate in the area and they use explosives routed from illegal sources. The police and mines officials know about this but take no action,” said a member of the Rajasthan Mines and Minerals Association.

Investigators, including the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Rajasthan Police, suspect that some of the explosives might have fallen into the hands of terrorist or extremist outfits, including Maoists. “The biggest threat is that missing explosives might have fallen into the hands of Maoists who use them for landmine blasts,” said an investigating official who did not want to be named.

Sagar Inspector General of Police Avnesh Mangalam admitted, “Misuse of the explosives cannot be ruled out.”

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