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Maoists seize 16 tonne of ammonium nitrate

Suspected Maoists hijacked a truck in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district and looted 16 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer also used in making explosives, police said on Thursday.

india Updated: May 20, 2010 23:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Maoists looted more than 16 tonne of high-grade ammonium nitrate in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region from a truck on its way to Raipur from Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

A piqued home ministry has told the state to book the firm licenced to ferry the chemical used in production of high nitrogen fertiliser as well as hundreds of landmines such as the one that killed 35 people, including Special Police Officers in Dantewada this week.

Police officers in Raipur said a search operation had been launched for the chemical but acknowledged that a detonator-laden truck looted in the same area a few months ago had not been traced.

A home ministry official said the firm did not appear to have taken the precautions.

“There could be a chance that some companies might be buying peace with the Maoists by being careless,” he said. Landmines and improvised explosive devices are responsible for a significant chunk of casualties amongst security personnel.

The incident came in the backdrop of a two-day bandh (shutdown) across five states by the Maoists that resulted in loss of six lives and economic infrastructure such as phone towers and panchayat buildings.

First Published: May 20, 2010 22:54 IST