MUMBAI : In two instances, on Monday, the Virar police have seized 24 detonators, 8.4 kg explosives while in the other case, a couple have been detained for storing explosives in their house, though a FIR process is going on in the latter case. The detonators and explosives were being used for illegal sand mining in Virar.

Said PI Vivek Sonawane of Virar police station, we received a tipoff of the large quantities of explosives being stored in the Chandip area where illegal sand mining activity is rampant on Sunday and we seized the 24 detonators, and 8.4 kg of ammonium nitrate  which was kept in a blue denim jeans bag,said the official. We also seized an excavator, truck and other materials during the raid, he said. The sand mafia were to use the explosies for blasting the river bed to illegally mine sand but we are also probing a possible terror angle, as the nation is on high alert due to the recent terror attack on 14 February in Pulwama, said Sonawane. Two persons, including the driver of the truck and excavator have been booked under the Explosives Act,1908 and the amended Mines and Minerals Act,1957 and are probing further.

In the second instance the Virar police have detained a tribal couple in Saiwan village in Mandvi range for storing explosives. At the time of going to press, the panchanama was going on and a process of registering a FIR is also underway, said PSI Hemant Katkar, spokesman, Palghar Police.