Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rajasthan Recovers Explosive Devices and Weapons

Rajasthan's border with Pakistan is never trouble free. At times, forged banknotes are found, and at other times, terrorists are reported to have sneaked into India. Visitors on friendly trips often smuggle huge stocks of counterfeit notes and heroin. Now traffickers living in India have joined the conspiracy to bring weapons and explosives from Pakistan in order to wreak havoc in India. The police seized such a stock, smuggled from Pakistan, on 8 September.

Confirmed Intelligence Reports
On 8 September, this haul at Marundi Village, about 25 km from Barmer, was to have been sent to the terrorist outfit of Punjab, the Babbar Khalsa. Smuggler Lumia alias Salha Khan, a resident of the area under the Beenjrad Police Station and his associates were involved in it. On the basis of confirmed intelligence reports of weapons being smuggled across the border, a contingent of Barmer police combed the area for eight hours. They came across a land on the road to the left of the Marundhi-Danta bridge, which was covered with fresh mud.

After digging about one foot, they found a cement sack with the words "rock strong" inscribed on it. Eight brown packets were placed under it. These contained weapons and explosives. From these packets the police recovered eight foreign pistols, 26 magazines, eight packets of 420 cartridges of 7.62 caliber, two packets containing 6.86 kg of explosives (a group of experts from Jaipur found them to be RDX after proper examination), two bundles of safety fuse wires, measuring 50 and 90 feet in length, four of them with batteries and two detonators. The police informed journalists after 24 hours. When asked about local connection and the route used for smuggling the weapons, the police said that these would be clear only after investigations. Police denied that any arrests had been made in this connection. But according to reliable sources, several people have been taken into police custody for interrogation.

Stock of RDX and Weapons
The police and the intelligence services have no clue of how these materials reached a place almost 100 km away from the international border or how they were kept hidden. Had this stock of RDX and weapons been in possession of terrorists they would have created havoc. Timer devices were also seized along with weapons and explosives. Perhaps, this is the first instance of its kind outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to experts, these devices are highly sophisticated. Their special feature is that they can be effective even 184 days, four hours and 20 minutes after they have been set. The technology of the programming of the explosives was written on slips of paper stuck on them. The police have lodged several cases against Lunia and others at the Barmer Police headquarters under various sections. The Jasai Ordnance Depot is just a little far from the site in Marundi village from where the explosives were recovered. On the other side lies the railway track along which the Thar Express passes.

Anti-National Incidents
Therefore, it is being suspected whether traffickers had intended to give the ammunition to the Punjab terrorists or the purpose was to spread panic in Barmer. On one hand, the efforts are being made to get the Thar Express to stop at Barmer, on the other, anti-national incidents are occurring frequently there.

Under these circumstances, if the Thar Express halts at Barmer it will become a new destination for smugglers and terrorists. They will be able to fulfill their masters' ambitions far more effectively from here.

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