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1,950 detonators seized

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COMBING EXERCISE: A police team looking for detonators in a palm grove at Irumeni village near Mandapam on Wednesday. Photo: C. Jaishankar
COMBING EXERCISE: A police team looking for detonators in a palm grove at Irumeni village near Mandapam on Wednesday. Photo: C. Jaishankar

C. Jaishankar

Suspect they were meant to be smuggled to Sri Lanka

RAMANATHAPURAM: About 1,950 detonators have been seized by the police from places near Mandapam early on Wednesday.

They were meant to be smuggled to Sri Lanka. No one has been arrested, but five persons belonging to Pamban and Alaikathavalasai, nearby areas, were being questioned.

The detonators were hidden in a palm grove at Irumeni, a coastal hamlet near Mandapam. A police team, which included personnel from the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, undertook extensive digging in the early hours of Wednesday and found a sack containing the detonators.

Following this, the team searched the adjoining areas and a similar bag was found. While the first bag contained 19 bundles of detonators, the second had 20 bundles. Each bundle, wrapped in a newspaper, had 50 electric detonators. "The seizure was a result of the high alert of the 16 police teams formed to prevent smuggling from here to Sri Lanka," Superintendent of Police R. Thirugnanam told The Hindu at Irumeni.

High vigil

The police, who undertook the operation following a tip-off, suspect that the detonators were brought to the village several months ago. The smugglers might have decided to lie low following the increased vigilance along the coast.

"The circumstances and the area under which the explosives were concealed show that the explosives were meant for Sri Lanka. We will soon come out with more details. Special parties functioning in the district have been asked to be more vigilant along the coast. Surprise raids will continue on suspected locations," said S.S. Krishnamoorthy, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Ramanathapuram range.

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