A CACHE of ammunition, including 26 live bomb shells and four hand grenades, were found in a vacant plot near Delta City Colony at Alamgir of Ludhiana Monday. Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Gill Gurjit Singh said the police received a PCR call around 10.30 am from a passerby who spotted the ammunition. “We reached there at 11 am,” claimed the ACP.
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However, the explosives disposal team of the army did not reach the spot to seize and dispose of the ammunition even seven hours after the police were informed.
Sources told The Indian Express that this was due to delay in “written permit formalities” that the police and district administration have to provide to the Army in such cases. Policemen were deputed to keep an eye on the ammunition. Some sand bags were placed as a temporary precautionary measure.
Speaking to The Indian Express at 6.10 pm, Bhupinder Singh, DCP (investigation), Ludhiana, said, “As per protocol, we had to send written documents to the deputy commissioner who will further send requisition to the Army complex at Dholewal.” Asked about why the procedure was delayed, he said, “There was no deliberate delay. Paper work takes time. The explosives disposal team of the army will also require some time to get ready. They are expected soon.”
Ludhiana deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat told The Indian Express that it was only at 5.30 pm that he received a call from the DCP. “I got documents from police and a call from DCP around 5.30 pm to send a requisition to the Army. I cleared it immediately. There was no delay on my part.”
Meanwhile, panic gripped Alamgir as news of ammunition being recovered spread in nearby villages. However, ACP Gurjit Singh said, “We have cordoned off the entire area. There is nothing to panic as all shells and grenades recovered are completely rusted. Still, we placed sand bags. The experts from army are awaited to seize and dispose of the ammunition. Our policemen cannot do it, they are deployed just to keep vigil.”
“It seems that some scrap dealer disposed of the ammunition here in order to avoid interrogation. These might have come in the containers with iron scrap imported by local furnace and factory owners,” he added.