Bengal cops seize huge quantity of explosives, Bangladeshi terror link suspected
West Bengal police seized 11,000 gelatin sticks, 50,000 detonators and a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate from the Jharkhand border, which some officers suspect was meant for the banned Bangladeshi outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.Updated: May 29, 2018 19:48 IST
The West Bengal police seized a huge quantity of explosives from Bahadurpur village in Birbhum district near the Jharkhand border on Monday, which a section of officers suspect was meant for the banned Bangladeshi outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
The seizure includes 11,000 gelatin sticks, 50,000 detonators and a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate. There are many stone quarries in the region and police say the explosives could have been siphoned off from official stocks of one or many of these quarries.
Monday night’s seizure came less than a week after Murshidabad police seized 98 kg bomb-making chemicals that was allegedly being sent to the JMB. Manglu Khan and Sadekul Khan, who were arrested in Murshidabad, told police the explosives were smuggled in from Jharkhand.
“These explosives too were brought into Bengal from Jharkhand. We have arrested Angur Seikh who had hidden them inside his house,” an officer of the raiding team in Birbhum said on condition of anonymity.
“We are trying to find out from where the explosives had been brought in and why,” said N Sudheer Kumar, superintendent of Birbhum district police.
Gelatin sticks and detonators which are normally used in stone quarries and mines to blow up rocky surfaces, have earlier been seized from Maoists and terror outfits.
About two weeks ago, Birbhum police seized around 15 quintal gelatin sticks, 500 detonators and ammonium nitrate from the Baromeshia area in Rampurhat. In February this year, around 18,000 detonators, 8,000 gelatin sticks and 100 kg ammonium nitrate was seized in the district’s Muhhamadbazar area. Both places are not far from the Bengal-Jharkhand border.
In October 2014, an explosion at Khagragarh in Burdwan in which two persons died blew the lid off a flourishing improvised explosive device (IED) making factory and a terror racket in Bengal that was run mainly by members of the JMB.
Police also suspect that a crackdown by the Bangladesh government on terror outfits was forcing JMB to source explosives from Bengal.
“We have come to know that these outfits in Bangladesh are finding it difficult to procure explosives since the Sheikh Hasina government has launched a drive against terror. These outfits have started collecting explosive materials from Bengal with help from sympathisers in India,” said a district intelligence branch officer in Murshidabad.