The Kancheepuram police on Thursday recovered ten artillery shells, live as well as exploded ones, from a dry lake bed in Hanumanthapuram where the army has a firing range. The recovery came days after last Sunday’s blast in a temple in nearby Manamathy village which killed two local youths.
In the blast in Gangai Amman temple premises, a similar rocket launcher’s detonator fuse exploded when the two youths picked it up out of curiosity. After the blast , the police recovered a live shell from the same area behind the temple and sent it to Chennai bomb disposal squad.
They have also arrested a scrap dealer Rafeek to whom the villagers sell these fired shells they find in the nearby fields.
Three injured youths are in Government Rajiv Gandhi Hospital in Chennai .
In the Hanumanthapuram firing range, CRPF and other para-military personnel are trained in shooting. When they begin the exercise, they hoist a flag atop a building to warn the local villagers to stay away, it is said
However Col (Retd) Thiagarajan expressed surprise that the defence personnel had left the fired shells, some of them live in the fields. He said they had to account for every piece of ammunition used. It was the job of the army to remove these shells and hand them over to ordnance depots, he said.