In a major haul, 'shadow police', the secret wing of Kerala police, recovered a huge stockpile of fireworks and explosive substances from a garage near the busy Market Road at Kochi. The seizure of explosive materials to the tune of five tonnes from the secret godown in the heart of the city has evoked shock and surprise among the citizens and officials. 

 

The raid was conducted on Thursday morning following a tip-off received by Kochi city police commissioner. Police said that a shop adjacent to the warehouse had the license to stock 450 kg fireworks but using the permit, the licensee stocked at least five tonnes of deadly firecrackers and explosive materials. Shockingly, the explosive materials were stocked in the middle of a busy street and close to St. Mary's convent school. Police have also unearthed some banned chemical substances and manufacturing equipment from the secret godown.

 

"The person had license to keep only 450 kg of firecrackers, but we found a huge pile of hazardous materials  here, it is illegal to store such a huge stock of explosives in the middle of a busy place like this. We will take strong action against this," said K Lalji, Assistant Police Commissioner.

 

 Police officers said that hey were surprised to find how the shop managed to obtain the license to run the shop in such a densely populated area.

 

Ever since the Puttingal temple fire tragedy in Kollam that killed 114 people on 10 April, police and authorities are keeping strict vigil against illegal stocking of explosive substances in the state.