Special Correspondent

700 kg explosives seized during a special 11-month drive

Drive launched to defeat the designs of terrorists, naxalites

Bihar likely source of the explosives transported

LUCKNOW: Over 34,000 detonators, 700 kg of explosives and 32 tonnes of ammonium nitrate are among a huge quantity of explosive material seized in Uttar Pradesh during an 11-month drive across the State. The drive was launched on January 1 this year in a bid to unearth explosives and defeat the designs of terrorists, naxalites and hardened criminals.

According to Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order and Crime) Brij Lal, the haul also includes five hand grenades seized in Lucknow. Among other recoveries were 3,226 electronic detonators, 43 gelatine rods, 1,833 safety fuses, 200 explosive sticks and three bundles of detonating fuse.

Chandauli district in the naxalite-affected region adjoining Bihar and Jharkhand accounted for the biggest catch of 30,000 detonators and 3,100 electronic detonators. Five quintals of ammonium nitrate was seized from Sonebhadra district and another 2.6 quintal ammonium nitrate from neighbouring Mirzapur district.

Simultaneous raids were also conducted on naxalite hide-outs with the police successful in seizing huge quantities of weapons and explosives, including 9-mm pistols, carbines, double-barrel guns, cartridges and ammonium nitrate.

The separate drive in the naxalite-affected areas was launched in January and continued up to October-end.

Mr. Lal said police investigations had revealed Bihar as the source of the explosive material transported into U.P. The detonators, manufactured by companies based in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, and other material were brought to the State illegally. The material was basically meant for mining purposes in Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra district as well as the Bundelkhand region of the State, Mr. Lal added.

He did not rule out the possibility of some of it finding its way to the naxalites. “Fresh instructions have been sent to the district police chiefs to continue their efforts to unearth more explosives in a bid to infuse a sense of security among the people,” he said.