A police team, in a drive against illegal stone quarrying, seized over 3,500 detonators and other explosives from a village in Rohtas on Friday.
Acting on a tip-off, the team led by Rohtas superintendent of police (SP) Chandan Kumar Kushwaha conducted a raid at Badhaiahbagh, around 15km south of Sasaram, the district headquarters.
Eight bags containing 3,550 detonators, 1,811 pieces of gelatin sticks and 5kg ammonium nitrate were recovered. Three persons were also arrested.
The drive is part of a special operation launched against the illegal supply of explosives to the state’s stone-quarrying mafia.
Sources said the seized explosives bore the seal of a Nagpur-based explosives-manufacturing factory. The arrested persons, identified as Anish Pasi, Arun Kumar and Dharmendra, also revealed names of other accomplices who are at large.
SP Kushwaha said the explosives were being stored for illegal stone quarrying in the state.
“The government has banned illegal quarrying. All the stone-crushing units, which were running without licences, have been closed,” he said, adding that those found violating the ban would be punished.
He added that raids were carried out at the suspected hideouts of the other absconders.
“This is the second such seizure in the past week. Around 13,900 detonators and other explosive materials were seized from a house in Rohtas’s Vasa village on Monday,” he said.
Earlier in June, too, three sacks filled with nearly 145 bags of highly explosive ammonium nitrate were recovered from a car near the Dofi toll barrier (40km west of Sasaram) close to the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh border. The driver and other passengers of the vehicle fled when they saw the cops, a senior police officer said.
The police had also found a driving licence issued in the name of a Rohtas resident, Bilesh, from the vehicle.
Officers suspected that those who fled from the spot were also residents of Rohtas.
Friday’s seizure assumed significance in the wake of the serial bomb blasts at the Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Gaya district, around 120km from Sasaram.
“Gaya has been on the radar of the terrorists and we don’t want to take any chances,” a police officer told The Telegraph.