Operation aims to curtail illegal possession, transaction of explosive substances

Private units manufacturing and stocking explosive substances in their godowns in the district came under tight scrutiny during a special drive conducted by a police team to curtail unauthorised possession and transaction of explosive substances. Codenamed “Operation X-ray”, the drive was conducted from December 26 to 28 in 22 licensed units and explosive shops functioning in Lalgudi, Musiri, and Manapparai subdivisions.

The mission was carried out on a recent order from the State police headquarters directing all Superintendents of Police and Commissioners of Police to carry out the operation. Headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, the team consisted of an inspector, four sub-inspectors and constables, and was provided with logistic support besides a list of licensed explosive dealers in the district.

The team was also armed with copies of the Explosives Act, 1884, and the Explosives Rules 2008 with the latest amendments to familiarise with the provisions. The teams verified the licence, stock available, and whether they tallied with the registers maintained by the respective units, police sources told The Hindu . The bonafides of sales effected, number of transactions made, the date of next renewal of licence, type of explosives dealt with by the units, mode of transport, details pertaining to buyers, and whether the stock available with the units and its sale or disposal were properly accounted for, any criminal cases initiated earlier, the registers maintained by the licencee to record receipt of explosives, and the closing balance were scrupulously examined during the drive.

Rule 24 requires that every person holding a licence for possession, sale or use of explosives should maintain records in prescribed forms and produce them on demand to an inspecting officer.

Following the completion of the operation, the team would forward a consolidated report to the Superintendent of Police. The report would then be submitted to the State police headquarters.

The sources said a blast in a private fireworks unit at Karapudayanpatti near Uppiliapuram in May that claimed the life of a woman led to its closure.