News headlines


Mumbai, May 21: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested small-time thieves Lakshman Kamble (55) and Subhash Gaikwad (36) from a bus stop near Mulund Check Naka on Sunday.

They were carrying 438 detonators and five gelatin sticks. In the Gateway of India blasts, which claimed 48 lives in 2003, 92 such gelatin sticks and similar detonators were used. Worryingly, among the detonators seized by the ATS on Sunday, 68 were live (ready for use). 

Kamble and Gaikwad, who hail from Akola and Buldhana respectively, were living in Shantinagar, Govandi. They reportedly stole the seized explosives in a span of 15 to 20 days from quarries in Navi Mumbai.

“The men work as contract labourers for quarries in Navi Mumbai and have a history of petty thefts,” said Inspector H N Rathod of the Vikhroli unit of the ATS.

According to Sub-inspector Ramesh More of the ATS, “The men admitted they had been stealing the stuff for some time. We haven’t, however, found whom they sold it too.

While anyone with a valid licence can acquire the explosives we confiscated for less than Rs 4,000, terrorists would pay any amount for this stuff.” More added that Kamble and Gaikwad would steal 20-25 detonators every day, hide them between rocks and retrieve them later.

Small-time chors

Acting on a tip, Rathod arrested the duo while they were reportedly waiting for a buyer. “The arrested men lived in a refugee camp in Govandi, where a lot of illegal immigrants stay. Imagine what would have happened, if these explosives had reached the wrong hands,” said Rathod.

Joint Commissioner ATS, K P Raghuvanshi said, “The two arrested are not a part of any crime syndicate. So far, I am not aware of their involvement in any blasts.”


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