The ATS, along with the state police, had raided an abandoned warehouse near Sativli village in Palghar in October 2016.
Mumbai: Three months after the Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) discovered 18 kilograms of explosives in a forest near Palghar, ATS sources have revealed that the explosives, which included RDX and gelatin sticks, were not left there by construction workers as was suspected earlier. All the material had been brought in by anti-social elements for “use in the state”, as per intelligence available with the ATS.
Following the discovery, ATS spoke to the Maharashtra DG and put in place measures to increase security in coastal areas, including roping in fishermen to report suspicious, unregistered vessels.
ATS, in a joint operation with state police on October 27, 2016 raided an abandoned warehouse near Sativli village in Palghar and found five gelatin sticks, 39 detonators, some white powder and 14kg of black powder. An ATS source said, “This black powder was sent to the state forensic laboratory and tested positive for RDX.” The source added that during initial investigation, they suspected that some construction workers had left behind the explosives. “However, our intelligence and investigation pointed out that the material had been brought in by some anti-social elements to be used in some form in the state,” the source said, adding that those who had brought the explosives too stayed at the same warehouse for some time.
Another ATS officer said that post the discovery, the DG of Maharashtra held a meeting with ATS to discuss what measures could be taken to beef up security in coastal areas.
“We gave them our inputs and with the help of local police, coastal security forces, and ATS officials, we are taking all measures to secure the coast,” he said. He added that the they had even roped in fisherman and have told them to be alert and keep an eye out for any new vessels and people in the coastal areas.
“They have been asked to report any unregistered vehicles and when they go out fishing in the deep seas, they have been asked to keep a watch for any vessels they don't recognise so that immediate checks can be conducted,” the officer said.
Officials are looking into all possible angles.