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TN: 17,000 detonators go missing; 96 detained
May 26, 2008 16:49 IST
Sounding a statewide alert, the Tamil Nadu police on Monday detained 96 persons and stepped up search operations across the state following the theft of 17,100 detonators used for quarrying purposes, from a private godown at Karur near Tiruchirappalli.
"We are serious about the theft and are probing the matter. We have already detained 96 persons in connection with the matter," DGP K P Jain said.
Some detonators have been recovered from the detained persons, he said without elaborating.
Meanwhile, police have sounded a state-wide alert with increased focus on coastal districts. Police are also investigating whether any Sri Lankan militant group was involved in the theft.
The godown, which has two chambers, had over 60,000 detonators. The thieves reportedly broke open the lock of one of the chambers and decamped with 17,100 detonators. The incident came to light on Sunday after the godown owner found the door of one of the chambers broken open.
Police sniffer dogs, which were pressed into service, ran a few distance away from the godown, from where police found some empty detonator boxes.
Police said of the 17,100 detonators stolen, 700 were ordinary detonators and the rest electric ones. Each of the ordinary detonators cost only Rs 1.25 per piece and the electrical ones were available in the market for Rs 4.25 each.