Bhubaneswar, Sept. 3: Unlicensed explosive materials, including 3,700 detonators, more than 100 bundles of codex wires and 125kg of ammonium nitrate were seized by Rayagada police from two godowns early this morning.
Preliminary findings suggest that the explosives and the wires are used to make landmines.
Rayagada superintendent of police R.P. Koche said the raid was conducted at Ambadola about 2.30am. “I got a call from a source who gave us the location,” Koche said. The house where the operation was conducted belonged to an uncle-nephew duo — Ipili Chitti Babu and Ipili Satya.
Other explosives seized from the duo were nine gelatin sticks and 125kg of ammonium nitrate, a strong oxidising agent, which makes an explosive mixture when combined with diesel or kerosene.
The two have been arrested and a case has been lodged under the Explosives’ Act in Ambadola police station.
Koche added that a few hours later, police raided another house in nearby Muniguda from where they seized 654 detonators, 42 gelatin sticks, 5kg of sulphur, 12kg of white chemical salt and a bundle of codex wire.
The police arrested one Gourishankar in this connection. “Preliminary investigations have revealed that both the incidents were related,” said the superintendent of police.
He added that the haul of explosives from the area could be attributed to the proximity of bauxite mines in the region. The most commonly-found commercial explosive in India is the gelatin stick which is used in stone quarries for blasting rocks.
“We presume that the three used to sell the explosives to contractors working in the mines. But, explosives are distributed only to licensed contractors and only after the collector and the Explosives Board gave their permission and licences are issued,” the police superintendent said.
But the police are not entirely ruling out the Maoist connection.
“That angle is still under consideration. But, we can only confirm after an investigation,” he said.
It has often been found in the past that the Maoists use villagers and contractors, too, to use them as suppliers of arms and ammunition.
The rebels are quite active in doing this in villages bordering Jharkhand and Bengal as they are located in deep forests and mining areas.