Tamil Nadu

Huge cache of explosives unearthed in Rameswaram


Ramanathapuram hamlet was used by militants in 1980s

A huge cache of ammunition, trinitrotoluene detonators and detonator launchers was recovered at Anthoniyarpuram, a coastal hamlet near Thangachimadam in Rameswaram on Monday.

The police said a house owner was digging a pit at the back of his house for constructing a septic tank when he recovered an iron box containing cartridges and alerted them. His house was about 50 metres away from the seashore.

On being alerted, Superintendent of Police Omprakash Meena launched an operation with a team and dug out more than 20 boxes, containing ammunition for different types of weapons. The team recovered a sizeable quantity of explosives and detonators and detonator launchers.

The SP said the haul of ammunition included cartridges for light machine guns, medium machine guns and self-loading rifles. In all, the police recovered 22 boxes, each with 250 rounds of bullets, till 9 p.m., the SP told The Hindu.

The police said the cartridges and explosives and iron boxes were found corroded and they could have remained buried for more than two decades.

Base of militant outfits

Locals said Anthoniyarpuram, which was uninhabited in the late 1980s, was frequented by Sri Lankan Tamil militant organisations, especially the now defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and then Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front. The militant organisations used the seashore as their base for smuggling arms and ammunition when they were fighting against the Sri Lankan forces for a separate Eelam.

One version has it that the EPRLF had camp there in 1986 and it could have buried the ammunition and explosives for smuggling, they said.

An inventory would be made after completing the digging operation, police said.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 4:17:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/huge-cache-of-explosives-unearthed/article24257017.ece

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