| Police present the arrested criminals and display the explosives found on them before the media in Rohtas on Wednesday. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary |
Patna, Sept. 19: Police today seized around 90 quintals of ammonium nitrate and 3,000 detonators — supposed to be delivered to the mining mafia and the Maoists in the Kaimur plateau — at a rice mill in Rohtas district.
Acting on a specific tip-off, a team led by Rohtas superintendent of police Manu Maharaj conducted a raid at the godown of a rice mill at Amara Talab village in the Sasaram Mufassil area, around 160km south-west of the state capital.
Seven persons were also arrested. The police said they were going to deliver the consignment to the mining mafia and the rebels active in the region that is a stronghold of the Maoists .
“The owner of the rice mill is one Sitaram Sah. The consignment was supposed to be dispatched to various places,” Maharaj said.
He added that the trade of explosives had been going on from the rice mill for several years. Of the seven arrested persons, Indal Singh alias Indrajeet Singh, Kanhaiya Singh and Munna Tiwary are suspected to be involved in illegal mining.
“Cases had been lodged against the three men earlier. But they had managed to dodge the police,” Maharaj said.
The four others arrested were identified as Guddu Kumar, Sandip Prasad Gupta, Vijay Rai and Rajpati Choudhary.
Maharaj said the arrested persons admitted to their involvement in supplying explosives to the Naxalites and the mining mafia in Rohtas and Kaimur districts. “Their links with the Maoists in other states are also being verified,” the senior officer added.
The arrested men told the police that they used to buy detonators and explosives from Chunar in Uttar Pradesh and supplied the substance to the Naxalites and illegal miners in Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
Acting on the information inputs provided by the arrested persons, the police raided the godown at Takia Muhalla and found 40,000 aluminum short delay detonators.
“The highly explosive detonators, often used by the Maoists against security forces, had the label of Dorica, Indian Explosives Limited and Made in India,” Maharaj said.
He added: “It is a serious matter that the persons supplying detonators to the Naxalites have access to explosives manufactured in government factories.”
This was the second such raid and seizure within a week. Two suppliers of explosives — Dipak Kumar Singh and Bikram Kumar Singh — were arrested from Adamapur village under the jurisdiction of Sasaram Mufassil police station on September 11.