Patna: Explosives taken to court as ‘case property’ go off
Patna Police had seized large quantities of explosives — including materials used for making crude bombs like nails and threads — from a Patna University hostel last Sunday and arrested three people.
It may be usual police procedure to bring evidence and material related to a case to the court for verification and cross-questioning when a trial is on. But, as Patna Police sub-inspector Umakant Yadav found out under unfortunate circumstances on Friday, it is best to exercise discretion when the evidence in question are explosives.
Patna Police had seized large quantities of explosives — including materials used for making crude bombs like nails and threads — from a Patna University hostel last Sunday and arrested three people. The case went to the city civil court, and Yadav decided that he would carry the explosive material in a box to the courtroom and place it on the prosecutor’s table as evidence. It was a decision he would live to regret.
At around 1.30pm, as the arguments in the case were on, the crude bomb detonated on the prosecutor’s table, triggering pandemonium in the court complex.
“The explosive powder which was recovered from the hostel on Sunday, was brought to the court for getting permission for further proceedings. As I kept it on the table, it exploded and my right hand was injured,” said Yadav.
While explosives are not usually brought to the court, the official brought the material for exhibit in the court for permission to send it to a forensics lab since it was bomb-making material.
The low-intensity blast injured Yadav in his right arm; he was discharged from hospital after treatment later in the day and is in a stable condition, officials familiar with the matter said.
According to police officials in Pirbahore police station, Yadav, posted at the Kadamkuan police station, had taken the seized explosive material to the prosecutor’s office for producing it before the court. The material was seized during a raid at the Patna University hostel last week. The office is situated on the premises of Patna civil court near Mahendru.
Pirbahore police station SHO, S Haque, said a laptop was also destroyed in the blast. “The police had recovered explosive powder from Patna (University) hostel a few days ago. It was brought to the court for exhibit. It exploded when sub-inspector Umakant kept it on the table. He is out of danger now,” Haque said.
The explosion triggered panic in the court premises. While some advocates rushed to check in on the public prosecutor, who was unhurt, others rushed Yadav to a hospital. A police team led by Patna senior superintendent of police MS Dhillon rushed to the prosecutor’s office and took stock of the situation.
Police are yet to take any action in the incident.