The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Detonators in sevai in army hub
- Jharkhand tailor caught with bagful of devices

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

Maqbool Ansari, a civilian working as an apprentice at a tailoring unit on the campus, was arrested 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 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 (vermicelli) 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 hidden 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 three men are said to be from Jamira village in the Naya Sarai area of Ramgarh.

Ansari has denied any knowledge about the recipient of the letter or 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 the last one and a half years.

He is learnt to have told interrogators that Mazhar had given him the bag and asked him to carry it inside the campus.

Police are verifying the claim that Mazhar would have taken possession of the bag once it was smuggled in.

While the police do not rule out the hand of an “insider”, both the army and police brass refused to comment while investigations are on.

Ramgarh has two regimental centres, primarily training camps — the Sikh Regimental Centre and the Punjab Regimental Centre.

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