An artillery fuse igniter of a rocket launcher has caused the blast in a temple in Kancheepuram district on Sunday that killed two local youths, police have said.
They have already ruled out any link with the current State-wide alert against Lashkar e Taiba terrorists. They have said the metal part could have been arrived at by a scrap dealer from an Army Firing Range near the temple.
On Monday, the police recovered an unexploded anti-tank shell from the premises of the Gangai Amman temple in Manamathi village near Thiruporur in Kancheepuram district.
The shell that caused the blast on Sunday, killing two youths and injuring three others, has been identified as Carl Gustaf Rocket Launcher 51mm artillery fuse igniter.
Kancheepuram district assistant superintendent of police V Badri Narayanan has said: “Going by the markings, the igniter and shell were made in September 2007. It is probable that someone collected it from an open space and sold it to a scrap dealer”. Investigations have revealed that a house behind the temple has been rented out to a scrap dealer and Hanumanthapuram army firing range is less than 10 km away. Exploded shells are collected by scrap dealers. The dealer has stored the scrap in his house.
The blast killed Dilip Raghav and his friend Surya and injured three of their friends. They had gathered outside the dry pond behind the temple to celebrate Dilip’s 25th birthday when they found a parcel and tinkered with it, triggering the blast. Surya died on the spot while Dilip died in hospital. The other three injured in hospital.
Badri Narayanan has said the victims had meddled with the igniter. Had they tinkered with the shell, it would have blown up the temple and the house, he said. The shrapnel that shot out after the explosion has pieced the temple wall. Police have said further progress can be made in the investigation only after the three in hospital regain consciousness.
Residents of the village have said, shells have been found in the temple surroundings at least six times in the past three years.