Panic grips Alamgir village after 26 live shells, other ammunition found | punjab$ludhiana | Hindustan Times
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Panic grips Alamgir village after 26 live shells, other ammunition found

Panic gripped Alamgir village after police recovered 26 live shells, rockets and four hand grenades from a vacant plot near Delta City Colony on Ludhiana-Malerkotla road on Monday afternoon.

punjab Updated: Feb 14, 2017 13:03 IST
HT Correspondent
Unexploded shells and hand grenades recovered by police near Alamgir village on Monday.
Unexploded shells and hand grenades recovered by police near Alamgir village on Monday.(HT Photo)

Panic gripped Alamgir village after police recovered 26 live shells, rockets and four hand grenades from a vacant plot near Delta City Colony on Ludhiana-Malerkotla road on Monday afternoon.

Senior police officials were also spotted in the area after the incident. The army’s bomb disposal squad also reached the spot which was cordoned off by police. Curious onlookers from surrounding villages thronged the area to catch a glimpse of the ammunition.

Police suspect that the ammunition came in containers with scrap from bay countries, imported by local furnace and factory owners who in turn threw the explosives in the vacant plot to avoid attracting attention.

Dehlon station house officer Dalbir Singh said a passerby saw the shells inside a pit and informed the police control room.

“We found 26 live shells, rockets and four hand grenades in a rusted condition. Taking precautions, we cordoned off the area and covered the shells with sand bags,” he said.

Gill assistant commissioner of police Gurjit Singh said police waited for the army to reach and unexploded shells and other ammunition will be escorted to a safe place for disposal.

Such ammunition has been recovered from iron scrap even in the past. The army disposed them of in bulk near Matterwara in Ludhiana around six years ago. The army’s bomb disposal squad arrived seven hours after the sighting because police and district administration delayed sending the written permit.

Police guard the area near Alamgir village on Monday. (Jagtinder Singh Grewal / HT Photo)

FORMALITIES DELAY BOMB SQUAD ARRIVAL

According to protocol, police sends a written request to the deputy commissioner (DC) who further sends it to the army complex at Dholewal in Ludhiana. There is a lot of paperwork and formalities involved. Sources said, police sent a letter to the deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat after 5.30 in the evening. The DC forwarded it to the army by which time it was already 6.30pm when the formalities were fulfilled.

Earlier in the day, DCP (investigation) Bhupinder Singh said all formalities were completed and the bomb disposal squad was expected any time now.

‘EXPLOSIVE SCRAP’, COMMON PROBLEM IN INDUSTRIAL CITY

Ludhiana: Being an industrial city, the chances of the influx of live ammunition along with scrap are high in Ludhiana. The city frequently imports scrap from bay countries. In the past, live shells have been recovered from canals, sewerage and vacant plots. Besides, the city was an epicentre of terrorist activity during the militancy years which has also led to recovery of weapons here.

Two brothers, aged 14 and 12, were critically injured in a blast after a live shell exploded in a plot in Giaspura area on June 21, 2016. They were beating the shell with a hammer to extract copper and other metals from it.

A senior police officer, on the condition of anonymity, said when terrorism was at its peak in Punjab, bet areas around Ludhiana were the prominent centres of terrorist activity.

They dumped explosives and weapons near canals and Sutlej river, he added.