The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Explosive haul near exam rage site

Ranchi, May 31: Police have seized 2,500 detonators from the 10-Mile area near Hulhundu, which witnessed largescale violence during the primary teachers’ recruitment test on May 27.

One person, identified as Juber Khan, has been arrested. Khan is a resident of Bhagat Singh Chowk locality at Khunti, nearly 40 km from the capital. An FIR has been lodged against him under the Explosives Act.

“It was around 3 pm. We were towing away burnt vehicles and tyres strewn on the road for the past three days after the violence,” inspector Dhaneshwar Ram said.

“While we were removing the vehicles with a crane, we spotted a man in an auto-rickshaw. Seeing the policemen, he got off the vehicle and started running with a bag in his hand. Sensing something foul, we asked him to stop and checked his bag. It was crammed with detonators. All of them bore the stamp of the Indian Detonators Limited.”

The police suspect the involvement of extremist outfits. “We suspect that the detonators were meant for a rebel outfit,” said an official of Hatia police station under which the 10-Mile area falls.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that there were no mines in the area where the detonators could have been used for blasting rock-faces. The courier owned a crackers shop in Khunti. But explosives used in the manufacture of crackers were different,” the official added.

According to inspector Ram, the accused said the detonators were not meant for destructive purposes. “Khan told us that he sold detonators to a stone-crushing unit owner. He said detonators were also used for digging wells.”

The incident comes at a time when the capital has been in the grip of violence.

Hatia police said Khan was being interrogated about his business links and more arrests were likely to follow. Despite his claims that the explosives were supposed to be used for mining, police are not convinced.

An official said the rebels could strike any time taking advantage of the situation and “the force has to be on high alert”.

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