The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Arms haul at army hub

Hazaribagh, Oct. 23: Detonators concealed below sevai (vermicelli) were recovered from a bag today when it was being smuggled inside the sprawling campus of the Punjab Regimental Centre at Ramgarh, 30 km from Ranchi.

Maqbool Ansari, a civilian working as apprentice at a tailoring unit inside the campus, was arrested along with two others.

Police claim to have recovered 50 detonators besides a hand-written note in Hindi that read, “Ansari se samaan bhej raha hoon; udhar se Lovely bhej dena (Sending the stuff through Ansari; send back Lovely from your end).”

“Lovely” is obviously a code word, said Ramgarh police DSP Sanjeev Kumar, but it is still not clear if it stands for money or something else.

This morning, as on other days, Ansari walked in with a bag and managed to clear the first gate opposite the electricity office on the Ramgarh-Bhurkunda road. It was when he was walking past the second gate near the canteen that he was stopped by havildar Yaduveer Singh.

Ansari confided that he was fasting on Ramazan and carrying sevai for breaking his fast later in the afternoon. Subedar Santosh Singh sought to check the contents of the bag and asked Ansari to hand it over. The apprentice apparently panicked, threw the bag and tried to escape. Jawans, however, soon caught up with him.

A search of the bag revealed vermicelli on the top but as many as 50 detonators concealed below, along with a couple of safety fuse and wire.

Army authorities handed him over to the police after interrogation. The proprietor of the tailoring establishment, Abdul Ghaffar, was also being questioned along with a third person, identified as Mazhar, the police said. All the three men are said to be from the same village of Jamira in the Naya Sarai area of Ramgarh.

Ansari has denied any knowledge about the recipient of the letter or about the contents of the bag. All civilians allowed entry into the regimental centre on a regular basis are given passes after police verification. Ansari has been working at the tailoring unit for one-and-a-half years.

Ansari is learnt to have implicated Mazhar and told interrogators that he was given the bag by the latter and asked to carry it inside.

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