61 trucks with 300 tons of explosives go missing in India only 4 found - empty

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61 trucks with 300 tons of explosives go missing in India only 4 found - empty

Some 61 trucks loaded with over 300 tons of explosives have gone missing in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, a senior police official said Friday.

"The trucks were sent from a state-owned factory, Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals Limited, in Dholpur to a private company called Ganesh Explosives in the state's Sagar district. But it never reached there," the official said.

According to the police, they are in possession of documents which show that the trucks had left for Sagar between April and June this year from Dholpur but never reached their destination. The explosives included detonators and gelatin sticks which are classified as Class II explosives and are used in mining.

A massive search is on to track down the trucks as fear is mounting that if the explosives, including detonators and gelatin sticks, reach the wrong hands it could be devastating, he added.

Four of the 61 trucks were found – but thoroughly cleaned out – on Friday night in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. A police team seized the vehicles parked in front of a local trading company, BM Traders, at Pipala village of Beoara Tehsil of Rajgarh district, 150 km north of Bhopal.

The trucks were sent from Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals Ltd (RECL) to a trading company in Sagar, Ganesh Magazine, between April and July.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Explosives and Chemicals Limited has claimed that it can't be blamed for this disappearance as it sent explosives only in trucks authorized by the company.

"We hand over the explosives to those who have the license. And they then dispatch it on their truck. Now, whatever happens to that explosive thereafter, we are not responsible for that," Y.C. Upadhyay of the company said.

Following a Hindustan Times exclusive on Friday, the Union Home Ministry expressed concern and asked the MP administration for a report on the missing trucks.

Leader of the police team Inspector Jayendra Singh Parihar said the explosives were unloaded somewhere between Dholpur in Rajasthan and Sagar.

While three of the seized trucks were from Bhilwara, the fourth one is owned by Devendra Thakur, one of the two partners in Ganesh Magazine.

Although the Rs 1.5-crore deal was clinched on Thakur’s explosives trading license, he told the police that he had got it canceled in March, as he was not getting along with his partner, Jai Kishan Aswani, who comes from the same area where the trucks were found.

The anti-terrorism squad of Rajasthan Police, engaged on Friday evening, suspects that the explosives might have been sold to miners in Bhilwara and Rajsamand districts in Rajasthan or even to Maoists in Andhra Pradesh.

By netchicken: posted on 15-8-2010

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