Bombs in steel containers found in Madurai
S. Sundar and S. Vijay Kumar
Passer-by injured when one of them exploded
Police rule out involvement of terrorist outfit
MADURAI: Improvised country-made explosives packed in stainless steel containers were found dumped near a culvert on Ring Road in Madurai on Monday evening. A passer-by who tried to open one of the containers suffered minor injuries when it exploded.
According to police sources, a travel bag stuffed with the containers was noticed by Mahesh (27) of Rajapalayam, a mechanic working in a hydraulic equipment workshop on Ring Road. When efforts to open a container failed, he threw it in stagnant water nearby.
The second one, when thrown, exploded. The mechanic fled the scene with minor injuries on his face and leg. He informed the police about the development through an advocate.
Police personnel were deployed at the scene to keep the public away from the explosives. Sleuths of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad arrived early on Tuesday and defused a bomb. The explosive substance, said to be a mix of aluminium powder, gun powder, pieces of shaving blades, iron balls, pebbles and glass pieces, was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory. Ten bombs were detonated by the BDDS personnel. The device thrown into the water was yet to be recovered, informed sources said.
“The bombs could have been abandoned by somebody fearing police checking ahead on the main road,” said Inspector-General of Police (South Zone), Sanjeev Kumar, who visited the scene. It was for the first time that the culprits had used stainless steel containers with lids to pack explosive materials to make bombs, he said. Stating that usually ropes were tied around country-made explosives, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar said the culprits could have used the steel containers for additional pressure to create more impact. “It could cause an impact for a radius of 20 metres,” he said. In Chennai, Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) K. Radhakrishnan said: “We do not see the involvement of any terrorist organisation. Such bombs are commonly used in the southern districts to attack animals… some rowdy elements also use them to target rival gangs.”
Mr. Radhakrishnan said the improvised country-made explosives were designed to explode on impact. “We have formed special teams to investigate the source of the explosives and the persons involved.”Preliminary enquiries with local people revealed that the explosives were placed recently, probably a couple of days ago.
“Since police patrol vehicles ply on the Ring Road frequently, it is possible that some persons trying to transport the explosives might have concealed them under the bushes. There are some stone quarry sites in the locality where explosives are often used,” a senior police official said.
Virudhunagar Superintendent of Police T. Senthil Kumar, (in charge of Madurai district), and ‘Q’ Branch CID officials inspected the scene.