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10,000 detonators, gelatin sticks seized in Jharkhand’s Pakur district

It was the third such seizure in Pakur district in a month. Police said the state’s anti-terror squad (ATS) could also get involved in the investigation.

ranchi Updated: Aug 21, 2018 15:50 IST
Ranchi
pakur district,jharkhand,anti-maoist operation in Jharkhand
Police officials inspecting explosives seized at Shahpur village in Pakur district on Monday, August 20, 2018.

A huge cache of explosive materials, including gelatine sticks, ammonium nitrate and detonators, was unearthed by police at Shahpur village in Hiranpur area of Pakur district, over 350 km from Jharkhand capital Ranchi, on Monday.

“Based on a tipoff, our team conducted a raid at around 5.30 am. Around 10,000 detonators along with 10,000 gelatin sticks and 65 bags of ammonium nitrate were found in a hut. The hut belongs to Bhagat Murmu, whose credentials are being probed,” said Shailendra Prasad Barnwal, superintendent of police (SP), Pakur.

It was the third such seizure in Pakur district in a month.

“Within a month, this is the third such instance in which a large cache of explosives has been detected. A fortnight ago, we found around 10,000 detonators along with 3,000 gelatin sticks and other explosives from two people under Malpahari police outpost limits. The first incident was in July under the same police outpost,” the SP said.

In the second incident, the police arrested two people with explosives — Mehrul Sheikh and Saddam Sheikh. They revealed during interrogation that one Hobu Sheikh from West Bengal was sending explosive materials through human couriers to various mines in Malpahari area of the district.

“On Monday, we conducted the raid during an anti-Maoist operation. The team first surrounded the village, cordoned off the area, and approached the suspected hut, where the explosive materials were later found. No one was inside the small hut. Villagers informed us that the hut owner, Bhagat Murmu, had left before we arrived,” the SP said.

Explaining the possible motive being the shipment and storage of the explosive materials, the SP said, “As the area adjoins the Bangladesh border, the role of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) cannot be ruled out. Recently, one terrorist of the outfit was caught in Pakur district. But, there could be other reasons like illegal mining operations in the area.

The SP said the state’s anti-terror squad (ATS) could also get involved in the investigation. “We are in the process of registering the case. There are no arrests till now. However, we are conducting a thorough probe from every possible angle, and expect to catch the kingpin soon,” he added.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 15:49 IST