The police have stepped up vigil on the stock, sale and movement of explosives across the State. The move follows the use of explosive substances by extremist elements in a couple of occasions and the seizure of 17 kg of detonators/gelatin sticks from a locked house in Tirunelveli last month.

Acting on the instructions of the Director-General of Police, K. Ramanujam, Commissioners/Superintendents of Police formed special teams to monitor the stock and sale of explosives on a daily basis. The use of a powerful pipe-bomb in the plot to blow up the convoy of senior BJP leader L.K. Advani in Madurai district and the seizure of explosives in a few other cases prompted the police to monitor stock of explosives, police sources said.

“Since some of the accused persons involved in the Malleswaram bomb blast belonged to Tamil Nadu, we suspect that the explosives could have been sourced from here. Licensed godowns keeping stock of explosives have been told to furnish the details of sale. The photo identity of every buyer is being maintained…explosives are usually purchased for stone quarry operations,” a senior police official told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Security arrangements have been stepped up following a general alert from intelligence agencies ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. Police intensified vehicle checks and night patrolling along the State borders and eastern coastline.

Bomb scare

An unclaimed baggage created a flutter at the Chennai Airport around noon on Wednesday. BDDS officers checked the baggage and found no suspicious articles in it.

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