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Explosives stolen by Maoists had expired: NMDC

Ranchi, June 1 (Calcutta Tube) The state-owned NMDC Ltd Tuesday denied that the explosives stolen by Maoists from its depot in Bailadila hills in Dantewada district were being used by the rebels to trigger the recent deadly blasts, saying that the explosives had expired and ‘may not have the strength to explode’.

The NMDC, in a statement Tuesday, rebutted a report which quoted a de-mining expert as having said that Maoists had stolen 20 tonnes of high-powered explosives in February 2006 from Bailadila and that the rebels were using it.

The expert said that the rebels had used one tonne of the explosive and ‘they are in a hurry to use the remaining 19 tonnes before they expire by the fag end of 2010’.

He warned that the country should be prepared for more deadly blasts by the Maoists.

However, NMDC said that ‘shelf life of explosive is six months as declared by the manufacturers’.

‘As the explosive was stolen more than 4 years back it has crossed its shelf life, and as such the stolen explosives may not have the strength to explode,’ it said in a statement made available to IANS.

It said that ‘19.570 tonnes of explosives’ was stolen by the Maoists, adding that it was ‘slurry explosives (water-gel)’.

The de-mining expert, who is based in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region — the nerve-centre of Maoist militancy, claimed that NMDC explosives were used by Maoists for all major attacks in recent months, including the attack by rebels April 6 in Dantewada district in which 76 security personnel were killed.

He had told IANS, requesting anonymity: ‘We have definite information that guerrillas have used nearly one tonne of the NMDC explosives loot so far and they are in a hurry to use the remaining 19 tonnes before they expire by the fag end of 2010.’

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