In a shocking incident, the Madurai District Police seized a bucket filled with powders and other materials with which explosives such as improvised explosive device (IED) and other accessories could be fabricated from the Tirupparankundram hill near here on Thursday.

On specific information, the police despatched a team comprising Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and the Special Investigation Team personnel to the hillock. A senior police officer said that a 15-litre capacity plastic bucket, which contained ammonium powder, a few batteries, wires and timer device, among others, was covered with a sheet. It was spotted in an isolated area on the hillock near a dargah and the Kasi Viswanathar Temple. As the wires were not connected or activated to the clock, it may have been used as a storage point by the miscreants, it is suspected.

The green colour bucket, which looked new, was, however, taken by the BDDS sleuths to the Avaniapuram police station for further examination.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravichandran told media persons that the timer device was not connected to the wires.

“The materials have to be examined by experts…Investigation will commence then,” he added.

However, police officers in the BDDS team told The Hindu that the IED, which has five components namely a switch, fuse wires, container, explosives and a battery for power source, were all dumped in the bucket. At least three sets of IED could be fabricated with the materials available, they noted.

Police said that it could have been stored here atop the hill to cause panic or it could have been leaked to the police by some member who had knowledge of the explosives being placed by them.

Another officer from the Central agency who inspected the explosives said that it could have been dumped in the hillock by some group as it was a secluded spot. The timely removal of the explosives from the hillock came as a relief.