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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 16 August: THE Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Bengal police on Sunday seized a huge cache of explosive raw materials from a private gowdown on Strand Road in Kolkata.

Altogether, 22 sacks of raw materials have been seized including six quintal ammonium nitrate, five quintal sulphur, and about 30 kgs of aluminium dust. The godown on the ground floor of 54/5A Strand Road, not very far from Kolkata’s trade hub Burrabazar, was being operated by one Pankaj Gharai on the premises that he had rented.

Gharai was taken into custody by the CID on 14 August after his name surfaced during the interrogation of two youths who were arrested by the police in Murshidabad on 8 August along with over 70 kgs of explosive materials. A goods transporter by profession, Gharai hails from Jajpur in Odisha.

On Sunday, he accompanied CID officials to the Strand Road gowdown, leading to the seizure of the huge cache of explosive raw materials. CID has sealed the godown and has taken him to its Bhawani Bhavan headquarters in Kolkata for further interrogation.

Investigators are trying to ascertain whether the explosives were imported for any subversive activities ~ in Bengal or elsewhere.

Ammonium nitrate is commonly used to carry out ballasts in coal mining and sulphur is used in tea gardens as part of pest control measures. But for such use, a valid licence is required for both transportation and stocking such materials as terrorists often misuse them to carry out subversive activities.