Indian security forces have found hundreds of pounds of explosives and over 1,500 detonators in the eastern state of Jharkhand, which is preparing for local elections, reports said. Police officials suspect that the bombs were to be used during the first phase of the elections in late November.
Police officials found 1,745 detonators, three improvised explosive devices of 11o pounds each, an 11-pound cane bomb, 881 pounds of explosives, 22 pounds of gun powder and 200 pressure cookers for use as IEDs. The material was found at a hideout suspected to belong to Maoists, a leftist rebel group active in the region, about 62 miles from the state’s capital of Ranchi, the Press Trust of India reported. Officials had earlier warned the state’s police of potential attacks on polling booths, as elections get under way on Nov. 25.
“The forces on the ground zero have told us that the recovery could be more in volume. The exact details will be known only after they return from the site,” a senior police official said, according to The Times of India, or TOI, adding: “A secret team of forces raided the spot early morning and combed the forest during which they found the explosive materials.”
The Indian government faces a constant threat from the Maoists who challenge the administration in New Delhi, and claim their fight is for better land rights, jobs for agricultural workers and for those living below the poverty line. Last year, the group killed nearly 27 people, including several ministers from the country’s former ruling party, Indian National Congress.
During the Lok Sabha elections in the country earlier this year that brought Narendra Modi and his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party to power, Maoists had killed eight polling personnel including policemen, TOI reported.
"The pre-election recovery is an indication of the preparations Maoists are making for polls," a police officer said, according to TOI, referring to the latest discovery of explosives.