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Palghar, the new terror hideout?

The place where explosives have been found is located closer to Tarapur Atomic Power station located in Palghar district.

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The recovery of 40 kg of explosives from Manor in Palghar district has raised questions about the security of places adjoining Mumbai. Since Mumbai is known as the financial capital of India it has always remained a soft target for terrorists to carry out terror attacks. Earlier, around 3000 kg of RDX which were used for carrying out the 1993 Bombay serial blasts were recovered from Shekadi in Raigad district. Moreover, huge cache of 35 detonators, gelatin sticks and large quantity of ammonium nitrate explosives had been seized on 20 May 2011 from Umarkui and Sayli village in Silvassa. The explosives have been recovered from Palghar at a time when India and Pakistan relation has hit a new low in the aftermath of Uri incident as threat perception is high. Sanjay Saxena, joint commissioner, Mumbai crime branch, said no one has been arrested yet.

The workers had recovered a package containing explosives while carrying out road repairs work at Sativli village near Mumbai-Ahmedabad expressway. They informed the police who sought the assistance of ATS and crime branch. The place where explosives have been found is located closer to Tarapur Atomic Power station located in Palghar district. Several illegal godowns exist on the Mumbai Ahmedabad highway as illegitimate activities occur there. Thus Palghar has become a new hideout for terrorists.

Sources in the ATS said that the material seized at Palghar included RDX, gelatine, detonators, white and black powder (which could be ammonium nitrate). These are used for mining activities. Gelatin sticks are not readily available in the market and one requires a licence to use them.

The raid was conducted by Maharashtra ATS and crime branch officials of Mumbai with the assistance of dog squads. However they have remained tight-lipped about the operation carried out by them. Combing operation is going in surrounding areas according to police sources.

Fire crackers, nails, gelatin sticks, detonators, tobacco tins, thin gauge pipes, gunpowder and other materials, form the major ingredients for creating bombs, said a police source.

Over 100 km from Mumbai, Manor in Palghar is close to the Arabian Sea, which was used by the terrorists in 2008 to enter Mumbai and carry out terror attacks, which killed 166 people and injured many more.

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