Over 9,000kg of explosives and 52,000 detonators — enough to blow up 100 three-storey buildings — were seized from a house in Bankura’s Shaltora on Wednesday night, days after the Lok Sabha elections were declared.
Samiruddin Khan, in whose house the 2,650kg of gelatin sticks, 6,650kg of ammonium nitrate and the detonators had been kept, escaped, said sources in the CID that conducted the swoop on the house in Kastora village.
Senior officers said the explosives could blow up 100 three-storey buildings. Police sources said the consignment — one of the largest such hauls in Bengal in recent memory — had been sourced from Odisha, Telangana and neighbouring Jharkhand and was probably meant for use in illegal stone quarrying.
Ammonium nitrate is used as fertiliser and its other major use is as a component of explosive mixtures used in mining and quarrying. Gelatin sticks, also known as gelignite, is an explosive.
“We are investigating the source and purpose of the explosives. The sheer quantity is enough to carry out very high-intensity blasts,” said a CID officer. Bankura police chief Koteswara Rao said a probe was on.
Additional reporting by Monalisa Chaudhuri