Thane: In a shocking recovery, 16 gelatin sticks and 17 detonators were found on the shore of the creek at Retibandar near Mumbra town on Tuesday afternoon.
The police rushed to the spot and seized the explosive stockpile.
Speaking about the recovery, a police official said, "A vigilance team attached to collector office went to Diva creek today to take action against those indulging in illegal sand mining. They recovered two barge there. In one barge, there were 16 gelatin sticks, while the other one had 17 detonators. We have initiated further action."
The police official assured that the gelatin sticks were found near the creek and there were no threats to places of idol immersion in the backdrop of the upcoming Ganpati festivities.
Preliminary police investigation indicates that these explosives were utilized for illicit sand mining through suction pumps. While there is no evidence of an assassination attempt in this incident, law enforcement has raised the possibility that the gelatin sticks may have been brought by individuals associated with the sand mafia to extract sand from the bay. On Tuesday afternoon, local fishermen observed suspicious activity along the sandbar bay near Mumbra. They promptly reported this to the police, leading to the revelation of this incident. In response, a team comprising Mumbra police and the crime branch swiftly arrived at the scene to conduct further investigations.
The sand mafia is active in the area and is known to smuggle the material for sale to construction companies for a huge profit. The police are trying to find out the source of the explosives. It is learnt that the state home department has asked the Mumbra police to go into the depth of the matter. If the explosives had landed in the hands of terrorists, the implications would have been very serious.