Man with detonator booked under Explosives Act

Staff Reporter

No evidence to suggest that he had any nefarious intention: Police

NEW DELHI: A 33-year-old man who was detained outside South Block in New Delhi on Friday after a detonator was allegedly recovered from his possession has been booked under the Explosives Act. However, the police have not come across any evidence to suggest that the accused had any nefarious intention or that the detonator could have been harmful.

According to a senior police officer, Ashok Sharma, a resident of Rohtas in Bihar, was arrested following detailed interrogation by the police and the intelligence agencies on Friday. "The case under the Explosives Act has been registered so that a formal forensic examination of the detonator recovered from his possession could be initiated," said the officer, adding that the detonator alone was not harmful.

The police have also telephonically contacted their Bihar counterparts and found out that prima facie Ashok did not have any liaison with criminals or terrorists. "We have checked his antecedents and nothing of concern has come up so far," said the officer. The police are now trying to ascertain how he managed to lay his hands on a detonator.

They have not ruled out the possibility of him finding it in the fields, as he belonged to a farmer's family, in his hometown Rohtas. However, the police are questioning him further to ensure that he did not have links with people dealing illegally with explosives.

Ashok was detained around 3-30 p.m. on Friday when he reportedly approached a police commando near gate No. 5 of South Block and took out the "electronic detonator". The commando immediately informed senior police officers and sleuths from the intelligence agencies. A Bomb Disposal Squad was also sent to the spot as a precautionary measure.

During preliminary interrogation, Ashok told the police that he was upset with the Bihar police who had not registered a case of murder when his brother had died. The police had apparently declared his brother's death to be an accident, while he suspected that his brother had been murdered. His brother was killed in a tractor accident about five years ago. The police, therefore, suspect that Ashok, who had begun working as a builder in Indore, was mentally disturbed due to his brother's death.

Ashok also told the police that he had taken a train from his hometown to Delhi and had been staying at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi for the past couple of days.