In yet another incident of foreign objects being found on railway tracks in Navi Mumbai, officials found four gelatin sticks on the Diva-Panvel line of Konkan Railway on Thursday. While there were no detonators or wires attached to the sticks, ruling out the possibility of them having caused a blast, officials from the anti-terrorism squad (ATS), special investigation department (SID) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) are probing the incident.
Hemant Nagrale, police commissioner of Navi Mumbai said, “The gelatin sticks were found around 9am. The sticks are very old and looked like they were discarded. As no detonators were attached to them, there was no possibility of the gelatin sticks exploding on their own. It looks like the culprits just wanted to create panic.”
While the security agencies have not yet detained anyone for questioning, the Taloja police have registered a case under section 4 of Explosive Substance Act and section 151(1) of Railways Act against unidentified people.
In the past four days, this has been the third such incident in Navi Mumbai. On Monday, hundreds of passengers of Pune-Santragachi Express had a narrow escape as a 1.5-meter piece of rail track, placed across the tracks near Kalambali station, got stuck on to the train’s engine. Similarly, an eight-foot long iron pole was placed across the railway tracks by some unidentified people on the Panvel-JNPT line on Wednesday morning. In both the cases, the motormen stopped the trains after they noticed the objects and averted possible accidents.
Prakash Nilewar, assistant commissioner of police (Panvel division), said, “It is not clear since when the gelatin pieces had been lying on the tracks. There were no CCTV cameras installed anywhere in that area. The gelatin, which is used for explosions, is normally thick liquid such as a gel. But the sticks we found were of dry powder, so they could not have been used for explosives.”
He said that train services were not disrupted on Thursday.