Human Rights

Missing explosive trucks in BJP state

A magician waves his magic wand and the girl vanishes in air. This is followed by a lot of clapping from the spectators. But what about 61 trucks carrying 600 tonnes of explosives which were reported missing with their deadly cargo. Detonating fuses, detonators and gelatine sticks of same make were found in Surat with 29 live bombs following Ahmadabad blast in July 2008 which claimed 57 lives.

The Rajasthan ATS and MP police have tried to solve the mystery of the missing trucks by locating 26 of them in Bhilwara (Rajasthan), 32 in Ahmadnagar (Maharashtra) and 2 in Biora (Rajgarh) of Madhya Pradesh which were diverted from their destination – Ganesh Explosives Sagar. More shocking is the fact that consignments were rushed to the traders between 17 April and 29 June though his license had expired on 31 March. Sagar police has registered a case against Jaikishan Aswani who had an understanding with the owner of the firm Devendra Singh Thakur. Though the partnership had dissolved, Aswani managed to get the consignment sent from Dholpur-based Rajasthan Explosive and Chemical Limited (RECL).

Earlier, the MP police claimed that it had no record of any such truck entering its border. It was feared that the explosives could have been diverted to unauthorised use to Maoists or Hindutva terror groups. According to a senior office of Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO), Thakur had tried to mislead them by seeking the cancellation of license which had already expired.

Suspecting that the explosives might have been diverted to mine operators in Bhilwara, ATS Rajasthan made althorough search and found two magazines (godowns) in Bholi (Bhilwara) with some of the missing consignment bearing the RECL markings issued in the name of Ganesh Explosives (Sagar). Bhilwara is a known stronghold of Hindutva forces. Shivcharan Heda, owner of BM Ajay Traders, however, is absconding along with his wife. In addition, the munim (manager) of the firm Rajendra Chaube is also involved in the racket. The total cost of explosives is estimated to be around Rs 4 crores. This was done, as are the speculations, to evade tax liabilities. However, illegal mine operations with police connivance can also be one of the beneficiaries as well as Hindutva terror groups which enjoy the protection BJP-ruled States.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2010 on page no. 11

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