39,000 detonators seized in Birbhum
Birbhum police early on Sunday morning recovered nearly 39,000 detonators from a car approaching from West Burdwan’s Raniganj and arrested the driver.
Sources said the vehicle was intercepted near Joypur village in Mohammedbazar, a Jharkhand-bordering police station, when the explosive-laden vehicle was en route to Rampurhat. Arrested driver Asish Keora was arrested and was registered under the Explosive Substances Act of 1908. Keora was taken into six days’ police custody after being produced before the Suri district court on Sunday.
“We have seized a huge consignment of explosives on the way to be smuggled. We are looking into the matter from all possible angles and trying to find out the end users,” said Shyam Singh, Birbhum police chief.
Police sources said primary probe revealed the consignment was going to Rampurhat where miners in the stone quarry belt use explosives. “Around 50 stone quarries have been closed in Birbhum as they failed to conduct the pollution norms. Owners of those stone quarries use such illegal means to extract stones. However, we are trying to find out whether such explosives were being sent for other uses,” said an officer.
In stone quarries, detonators are used with gelatin sticks to explode rocks. Their capacities can be strong enough to bring down a multistorey building.
Police sources said this recovery was given priority owing to the arrest in Bolpur last week of a team of six persons, including four contract killers from Bangladesh, sent to kill a Trinamul leader.
“There were no legal papers in the car and the driver disclosed that he was to hand over the consignment in Rampurhat. But we don’t know who the end users are,” said a police source.
“A gelatin stick and a detonator can demolish a three-storey building easily. If such explosives are misused, it could spell disaster.”