Ranchi: The seizure of 40 sacks of ammonium nitrate in two separate incidents from this city and its outskirts is the latest indicator that the Jharkhand capital may be turing into a hub of illegal explosives meant to reach Maoists.
The incidents come less than a week before the 34th National Games begin from Feb 12.
On Sunday, police seized seven sacks of ammonium nitrate - a chemical used to make explosives - from Chutupalu on the outskirts of Ranchi.
On late Saturday, police seized 33 sacks from a truck in the upper bazaar, which is the hub of business activities here. According to police sources, the explosives were meant to be supplied to Maoists in Gumla district.
In the last one year, police have seized 50 landmines, 45 claymore mines, 70 can bombs, 5,000 boosters, 500 kg high power gel, 800 gelatine sticks, 200 kg explosives, 16 rifles, and 80 revolvers and pistols from Maoist hideouts in Ranchi.
"Explosives meant for coal mines, crushers and others reach Maoists. In some cases, the owner of the crushers were found involved in smuggling and in some cases the employees were involved. Arms and weapons reached Maoists from Bihar," said a police official.
The Ranchi-Jamshedpur, Ranchi-Patna, and Ranchi-Palamau national highways are in the grip of Maoists, police say.
Kundan Pahan, a zonal commander of the CPI-Maoist, is active on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur national highway. Kundan is accused of killing Ramesh Singh Munda, a former minister and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator, in 2008. He is also accused of killing more than 30 security personnel, including special branch inspector Francis Induwar who was found brutally beheaded.