Truck laden with explosives was stolen: police (Lead)

May 23rd, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, May 23 (IANS) An unclaimed truck loaded with about nine tonnes of gelatine explosives, which was seized here, was stolen in Chhattisgarh while going from Jharkhand to Maharashtra, the police said Friday. The recovery has sent the police into a tizzy. They have started a probe on whether the explosives in the truck, parked on the outskirts of Raipur, were meant for Maoist insurgents who are active in the state.

The truck was found abandoned Thursday, a few metres from the national highway that connects the Chhattisgarh capital to the industrial cities of Bhilai and Nagpur.

“We can’t imagine that an unclaimed truck loaded with gelatine explosives boxes could be found in Raipur. These were kept in wooden boxes,” Lal Umed Singh, city superintendent of police, told IANS.

He said: “A probe is on and we can’t rule out possibility that the explosives were brought here either for terrorism purposes in Raipur or for supplying to Maoists who are very active in the state’s southern Bastar region.”

On the basis of preliminary investigation, the police officials claim that the explosives were ordered by a Nagpur-based coal mine company. The truck was on its way to Nagpur in Maharashtra from Jharkhand when the vehicle was stolen in Chhattisgarh’s Janjgir district, about 200 km from Raipur.

“It’s fact that the truck was stolen in Janjgir district while on way to Nagpur, but it’s still a mystery how it reached Raipur and was then abandoned,” said sources at the police headquarters here.

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