Probing the Hunasodu quarry blast and tracking the source of explosives, the Shivamogga police have zeroed in on a contractor hailing from Anantpur in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Following up on the information passed on by the Shivamogga police, the Anantpur police have also raided a contractor dealing with explosives on Thursday and Friday in Gummaghatta Mandal of the district and recovered 65,000 detonators that were stored in an unsafe manner in a vehicle.
B Satya Yesu Baba, Superintendent of Police, Anantpur confirmed to DH about the raid on a magazine (explosive storage facility) in Adugappa of Gummaghatta Mandal. “Shivamogga police had conveyed to us their suspicion that the Hunasodu explosives were supplied from Anantpur. Based on the information and our local officials report we have identified a contractor Sriramulu who had a magazine in Jagaluru of Davanagere district as well as in Aduguppa in Anantpur,” Yesu Baba explained.
According to Ramya, DSP, Kalyandurga, during the raid on Thursday, they came across five vehicles at the magazine. “The detonators were kept in one of the five vehicles in an unsafe manner. Even though Sriramulu had a valid explosive license, he was authorised to store only 44,000 detonators. But we have recovered about 65,000 detonators and stored in an unsafe manner violating various clauses of the license,” Ramya explained.
Yesu Baba revealed that the discovery of a huge cache of explosives was brought to the notice of Controller of Explosives at Visakhapatnam. “All the detonators were safely recovered and moved to a magazine facility in Anantpur Rural limits under the supervision of B Ravikumar, deputy controller of explosives and Tahsildar GM Venkatachalapathy on Friday. We are verifying whether the same detonators were sent to Shivamogga quarry,” the officer clarified.
Raja, Circle Inspector, Rayadurga Rural Police along with Fire officer Sadiq raided the magazine facility at the Adugappa. “Of the three rooms at the magazine facility, we could only open the one room where we found some amount of explosives and all of them have been shifted to a safe location. The other two rooms are yet to be opened,” Ramya briefed. Raja explained that a case has been registered against Sriramulu under the section 9(b) of the Explosive Act and section 286 of the IPC and they have formed teams to nab Sriramulu who is absconding currently. In the meantime, the Anantpur police and Controller of explosives have taken up the safety audit of recovered explosives and magazines.