Home Indian Muslim Huge explosives haul from quarries near Nagpur

Huge explosives haul from quarries near Nagpur


Nagpur : Four people, including a stone quarry owner, have been arrested from this Maharashtra city for illegally using explosives of the kind that were apparently used in last year's suburban trains blasts in Mumbai.

The arrests and the seizure of a large quantity ammonium nitrate, diesel, detonators and gelatine sticks from a mine and from two ammonium nitrate shops in the quarries in Salai Mendha village near here city Sunday have exposed the use of the banned ANFO or ammonium nitrate – fuel oil mixture used for blasting operations.

Superintendent of Police Yashasvi Yadav told reporters here Monday that mine owner Dhanraj Choudhary, his accountant Ramesh Bhalavi and ammonium nitrate traders Ashok Tate and Ramesh Karemore were booked under the Explosives Act, the Indian Explosive Substances Ordinance and the Indian Penal Code.

The police action followed the tightening of vigil in the aftermath of Friday's Hyderabad bomb blast and a tip-off that some kind of prohibited mixture was being used in the stone quarries in Pachgaon-Surgaon belt near the city, Yadav said.

He said while the use of gelatine is allowed in mine blasting operations and that of nitro-glycerine is totally banned, a special permission and a license is required for the use of ANFO for huge explosions under the supervision of experts.

The stone quarry owner was using ANFO routinely without obtaining any permission or license and the ammonium nitrate traders, who had set shop in the quarries were abetting the dangerously illegal activity, the police officer added.

Surmising that ANFO might have been used by the terrorists in Mumbai train blasts, Yadav underscored the need for regulating the trade of ammonium nitrate and fuel oils because their mixture becomes a deadly explosive material, much more powerful than gelatine sticks or RDX.

While clarifying that police had no information that could link the clandestine explosive making activity with the blasts in Mumbai or Hyderabad or Maoist activities, the police official pointed to a strong possibility of the ANFO being used on a large scale in other stone quarries in the area.