Police say two suspects are on the run

The district police seized about 62 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, 50,350 detonators and 19,250 metres of safety fuse wires from three houses in Karkala and two nearby villages in Udupi district on Tuesday. They were illegally stored in these three places.

Acting on a tipoff, three police teams simultaneously raided three houses near Koti Chennayya Theme Park on the outskirts of Karkala town, and in Nakre and Durga villages, on Tuesday, said Assistant Superintendent of Police K. Annamalai.

All the three houses were located in desolate spots — one house amid a coconut farm and two houses amid two rubber plantations, he said. While Nakre village is about 10 km from Karkala, Durga village is about 4 km from Karkala.

Mr. Annamalai said the value of 62 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was estimated at Rs. 1.3 crore in market. The value of 50,350 detonators and 19,250 metres of safety fuse wire was estimated at around Rs. 10 lakh, he said.

The Assistant Superintendent of Police said the explosives were being stored illegally in these places by Biju and his business associate Veeramani, both residents of Karkala.

Mr. Annamalai said Biju — from Kerala — was a dealer in explosives and had licence to store only 500kg of ammonium nitrate. He supplied ammonium nitrate to stone quarries and hydro-electric power projects, where the explosive is used for blasting of rocks.

Mr. Annamalai said both Biju and Veeramani — from Tamil Nadu — were absconding and two police teams had been formed to nab them. “We are examining the large amount of ammonium nitrate and detonators seized, including whether, by any chance, they were routed to terrorist or Maoist activities,” Mr. Annamalai said.

A case has been registered in the Karkala Town Police Station.

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