The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Detonator haul in Sikkim forest
- Explosives old, source unclear

Gangtok, Nov. 18: A cache of 2,312 detonators had been recovered from a forest along the Melli-Jorethang highway close to the Rangit river last Friday, but police said the explosives were of old stock and a probe had been launched to find out where they were procured from.

The superintendent of police of South, district, G.K. Verma, told The Telegraph that the detonators had been found in the forest at 11 Mile near Jorethang. “They stumbled upon the detonators when they had gone there after a fire had broken out and local people complained of hearing loud sounds like explosions,” said the officer.

He said the police recovered the explosives after the blaze had been put out with the help of the fire brigade and forest staff. The detonators were found along a cliff where the fire had not reached. Verma suspected that they were cast on the spot as someone wanted to get rid of them.

The detonators were taken to the Jorethang police station and a case had been registered against unknown persons.

“We are now examining the detonators, the serial numbers, name of the manufacturers and looking at the sale records of dealers who sell them in Singtam and Gangtok. It will take some time to know the sources as the explosives appear to be from very old stocks,” Verma said.

The state home department has asked the police to submit a detailed report on the recovery.

On November 10, six primary school students were injured when a detonator they were playing with exploded in a classroom at Rongoli in East Sikkim. In October this year, a pressure-cooker bomb was discovered near the venue of a public meeting to be addressed by chief minister Pawan Chamling near Gyalshing in West Sikkim.

Earlier this year, the police recovered a case of detonators from a vehicle at Rangpo. With a construction boom in Sikkim, detonators are used to blast hillsides for dams, roads and buildings.

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