The Kolhapur police seized four live bombs and other bomb-making material in Hatkanangle in Kolhapur on Saturday, and arrested four youths on Sunday. These four youths made the bombs for a team of policemen who posed as customers to lay a trap for them. Two of the arrested youth are electrical diploma students.

Police have ruled out any foul play. "They probably only intended to make some quick buck. But we are investigating all possible angles," Kolhapur Deputy Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar told The Hindu.

The initial reports of recovery of bombs in Kolhapur caused some anxiety on the background of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi's upcoming rally in the neighbouring Sangli district. But the police have ruled out any election-related sabotage plans.

They said that none of the four youths had any criminal background, and so far there was nothing to suggest that they had sold the bombs to anyone else other than the police team.

The names of the arrested youths are -- Ajinkya Bhople (22), Aniket Mali (22), Nilesh Patil (20) and Anil Khadse (26). Of them, Ajinkya and Aniket are students of electrical diploma, while Nilesh and Anil worked as suppliers. Hatkanangle lies close to Maharashtra-Karnataka border.

The police also seized gelatin sticks, wires, detonators from the house of one of the accused. "They learnt from the internet about the method of making bombs. Initial investigation reveals that these boys thought they could sell the bombs to some dacoits or thieves who intend to break open the lockers," Mr Kumar said.

He said a police team came to know about them, and put them under the radar. They then deployed a team of policemen who acted as customers and demanded four live bombs. The police arrested the youths before they could deliver the bombs to the team.

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