Nagpur: The military reportedly requested that a verification request be routed through higher authorities and not Pardi Police Station, which is investigating a shell explosion in a scrap metal shop. The police station had written to the army requesting an inspection of the remaining stock. The incident happened more than a week ago. Sources say the inspection by army authorities is essential for further police investigations.
Scrap metal dealer Abdul Rashid was convicted under the Weapons Act apart from the Explosives Act and for negligence. Rashid claimed the shells were purchased as scrap at an auction by the Army’s Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) in Pulgaon. The CAD auctions off shells and metal parts after the bombs have been defused or demolished.
The police are eagerly waiting for the CAD to inspect and guide them on the condition of the remaining shells in the dealer’s shop. The store has been sealed. A CAD inspection can also reveal how much the dealer actually bought at auction, sources said.
However, after the cops from the police station filed a request to the army sub-area office here, it came back that a letter must be from senior police officials. The police had sent a letter to the sub-zone office asking to take the matter to the CAD.
Contacted for a response, the defense spokesman said there was nothing to comment at this stage.
The DAC sells scrap from time to time. However, the bombs are defused before being sold. This leaves no room for any explosion. The scrap metal workshop shell exploded as it was being cut by a machine.
The whole incident also raised questions. Sources said there was no way a defused shell would explode.
If the shell was purchased outside the army channels, this raises greater concerns. There is a theory that the shells may have been sold from local sources near Pulgaon. Occasionally, some of the shells that have not yet been demolished often land in the hands of locals and are sold to scrap dealers as scrap metal, a source said. During demolition, the shells are exploded under controlled conditions leaving only pieces. Defused shells are the ones that miss, a source said.