National

Banned ammonium nitrate abundant in open market

An investigation by a Delhi daily reveals that the chemical, ammonium nitrate, is available in illegal markets in the outskirts of the Capital. The 3500 tonnes available to sellers sources from the 1% spillage at the Vishakhapatnam Port Trust where it is legally imported from Russia for manufacture of fertilizers. Even though the substance is considered an explosive, reports had surfaced that the rest 99%’s storage and sale had been unmonitored too.

This brings to mind the May 20, 2010 Maoist hijacking of a Raipur-bound load of 16 tonnes in the Bastar region in Chhattisgarh and other similar consignments going missing in the Maoist heartland.

The government of India had added it to the Explosives Act of 1884 after a series of blast in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Varanasi, Mumbai and Pune.
Aaliya Khan

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2012 on page no. 4

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