Investigation into the firecracker explosion at Chandni Chowk has revealed that the blast was triggered by an explosive usually used in “toy guns that fire crackers”. Police said the 64-year-old labourer from Murshidabad, who died on Tuesday, was carrying two bags with about 50 kg of explosives inside. Police said the blast was triggered when he dropped the bags, which, according to CCTV footage of the incident, appear to have been too heavy for him.
The Delhi Police, meanwhile, sealed three shops and one godown owned by an Old Delhi-based firecrackers trader, identified as Mukthar Ahmad, who has been absconding since the incident. Sources told The Indian Express that investigators have been informed by the Forensic Science Laboratory about the initial findings regarding the material seized from the explosion site.
“FSL experts said that apart from the firecrackers, the deceased, Motalip Mirza, was carrying toy pistol parts. After he dropped both plastic bags forcefully, the pressure converted the firecrackers into a single bomb of sorts. The explosives contained phosphorus, sulfur, potassium chlorate and gunpowder,” police sources said. Police sources said the accused procured firecrackers from a Tamil Nadu-based company. He also bought raw materials from Sivakasi and, using those, produced crackers in Delhi.
“Ahmad had asked Mirza to drop the 50 kg of firecrackers to two shops in Sadar Bazar. After the incident, Ahmad went missing after shutting down his three shops and a godown. Police are now conducting raids to nab him,” a senior police officer said. Meanwhile, the Licensing Branch of the Delhi Police called for random checking of shops and godowns to prevent illegal sale of “foreign-origin firecrackers”.
“Immediate action will be taken against the sellers in case of violation of the instructions. Even for Indian-origin crackers, the norms under the Explosive Rule will be followed. Local police will ensure that use of firecrackers will be stopped after 10 pm, as per guidelines of the Supreme Court. In view of the upcoming Diwali festival, it is obligatory for all districts to strictly comply with the directions to prevent air and noise pollution in Delhi,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Praveer Ranjan.