| Explosives recovered in Hazaribagh. Telegraph picture
Ranchi/Hazaribagh, Nov. 18: In two separate incidents, police seized explosives from Naxalites today, on the eve of the 48-hour bandh called by Maoists in Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.
West Singhbhum police made the seizure at the Saranda forests while the second cache of explosives was found by Hazaribagh police.
Security forces on patrol this afternoon stumbled upon a group of rebels at Hindburu area inside Saranda forests. Though the rebels escaped, the police seized explosives, firearms and Naxalite literature from the spot.
“Two powerful cane bombs, two rifles and a large quantity of cartridges were recovered,” said a senior police official, adding that the rebels could have crossed to Orissa.
Meanwhile, a police team led by Hazaribagh superintendent of police Praveen Kumar Singh today raided about six villages in Keredari block, believed to be a rebel stronghold, and found explosives in a bunker.
Singh said rebels planned to target at least 20 bridges in Chatra and Hazaribagh by making cane bombs from the explosives.
The explosives comprise 100kg power gel and 100kg nitric acid besides wires and detonators in huge quantities. Singh confirmed that the power gel was brought from Indian Explosives Limited at Gomia, Bokaro. Plans were afoot to unleash a reign of terror in these two districts during the bandh, he said.
However, he said, necessary arrangements have been made to ensure proper security in Hazaribagh. About 200 jawans of the district police as well as CRPF and STF have been pressed into service. “We were getting information related to movement of Maoists and will check their activities,” he added.
State police spokesperson R.K. Mallick said adequate police deployment would be made in vulnerable areas and the district police chiefs have been alerted.
The stir is expected to affect rail and road transport in the state. Though Ranchi division has not cancelled or diverted any passenger trains, sources in the Dhanbad division said some passenger trains that pass through vulnerable zones would either be cancelled or diverted after they receive instructions from the East Central Railway headquarters.