Kerala: Uphill task to trace Army mine sources

Hard to find records on obsolete ones.

MALAPPURAM: The investigation into the recovery of Indian Army’s claymore anti-personnel mines from under the Kuttipuram bridge earlier this month has made no headway in tracing out the distribution channel that connects the chain of custody outside Maharashatra. The special investigation team led by district Crime Branch DySP Jaison K. Abraham had visited various Army units in Maharashtra last week. He said that the sources of four of the five mines have been traced after examining the documents at the Army units in Pune, Pulgaon and Chandrapur which were made available to the investigation team.

“We have collected all available documentary evidence which confirmed four mines were made in the Indian ordnance factory at Chandrapur. They were later sent to various Army ammunition depots, sub depots and regiments. The process of tracing out the sources outside Maharashtra will take time,” Mr Abraham told DC. The team has found that the mines were sent to Army units in Panjab and Jammu Kashmir. For further investigation into the chain of custody, the probe team has to go directly to the Army units in these states and is not sure of getting evidence.

“The recovered mines are around 30 years old. According to the Indian Army, the lifetime of the mines is 10 years. Since these are obsolete mines, it is hard to find out their details in Army records. The records at various Army units in different state are not computerised,” he added. The M18A1 claymore mines were found abandoned under the Kuttipp-uram bridge on NH 66 across Bharathapuzha on January 5. The rusted explosives are kept at the Armed Reserve Police camp in Malappuram.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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