The Chhattisgarh Police have arrested two people, and recovered a massive haul of explosives from the state’s Maoist-affected Bastar district, at a time when security agencies are on high alert owing to an ongoing Maoist ‘martyrs week’. The recoveries included 1,250 electronic detonators, 1,838 gelatin sticks and 150 kg of ammonium nitrate making it one of the biggest explosive recoveries in the past few years.
SRP Kalluri, Inspector General of Police, Bastar range said, “We recovered these items near Nagarnar police station area on Chhattisgarh-Odisha border. We received information about the presence of two people with a consignment near the Dhanpunji railway crossing after which forces rushed to the spot.”
The arrested individuals were identified as Niranjan Das and Durjati Mahangkodo, both residents of Koraput district of Odisha. Senior police officers said that interrogations have revealed that the explosives were meant for Maoist commander Vinod, who operates in the Chandameta area.
While the electronic detonators were found in two bags carried by accused, they revealed to the police where more explosives were kept, senior police officers said. “Based on this, we sent a police party towards the Machkot forests on the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border, where 1,838 gelatin rods, three bags of ammonium nitrate (150 kg) and three bundles of safety fuse wire were seized,” a senior police officer said, adding that a case had been registered.
Senior police officers said that not only was the recovery a breakthrough in the amount of explosives recovered, but would give them an insight into the channels used for the transportation of these explosives. “These days, the Maoists are finding it difficult to procure explosives, which is why they have shifted to small IEDs. We can actively work towards shutting down more sources of their ammunition based on information we glean,” a senior officer said.
A case has been registered and further probe was on, the IG said.
Bastar Police in September last year had recovered a huge haul of explosives, including 1,000 kg of ammonium nitrate and 750 kg gelatin, being supplied to Bastar from Odisha for the Maoists.