Jhabua: The Madhya Pradesh government has announced a reward of Rs one lakh on information leading to the arrest of Rajendra Kasawa, the absconding accused who had stored explosives for mining work in a building which triggered off a series of blasts killing at least 89 people at Petlawad town here.
The award was announced by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself who said, “Anybody who passes information to law-enforcers to facilitate the arrest of Kasawa, will be rewarded with Rs 1 lakh," as per PTI.
Kasawa has been booked under relevant sections of IPC and Explosive Substances Act.
Police have carried out searches at some places to arrest Kasawa.
However, in a twist, residents of Jhabua believe that he was killed in the blast.
As per a report in The Times of India, the locals are saying that the main accused was blown to pieces in the explosion.
Also that his charred body may be trapped under debris.
Kasawa is said to have been smuggling explosives since eighties.
The Daily quoted a resident of Petlwad, Milind Mehta, as saying that they saw Kasawa opening the shutters of his godown after the first blast which was of low intensity.
Within minutes, the second blast took place, which was powerful and devastating.
Mehta, who is an old friend of the accused, said that there was no trace of Kasawa's family.
Another resident Shekhar, said that Kasawa ran towards his godown after the first bang and seemed worried about its safety. He added that the accused may have been burnt in the powerful blast.
The Daily also quoted a senior police official investigating the case as saying that the mobile surveillance of the accused shows his last location as Petlawad.
The officer added that it could mean that Kasawa may still be in the town or may have died in the blast.
On Saturday, 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town in Jhabua district.
(With PTI inputs)