New Delhi, 26th April 2023: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against five persons in the June 2022 West Bengal case relating to the seizure of a huge cache of electric detonators and explosives.

Charges against one of the accused Manoj Kumar, who had committed suicide in November 2022, have been abated in the chargesheet.

A Special Task Force (STF) team of West Bengal had initially registered a case (FIR No.209/2022 dated 30.06.2022 at Mohammad bazar Police Station, Dist-Birbhum)
following the interception of a TATA Sumo car (WB-44D-5761). The team had seized 81,000 electric detonators from the vehicle late on the night of June 29, 2022 and arrested the vehicle’s driver Ashish Keora.

Following Ashish’s arrest, a series of searches were conducted at various locations, leading to more seizures. Besides another 2525 electric detonators, 27,000 kg of Ammonium Nitrate and 1625 kgs of Gelatin Sticks were seized during the search operations from an illegal godown belonging to another accused, Rintu Sk @ Muntaj Ali. Further, 410 detonators were seized from the house of accused Mukesh Singh, while 45.75 kg Gelatin Sticks & 1200 electric detonators were recovered from the possession of accused Moktar Khan @ Imran.

Investigations by the NIA, which took over the case on September 20, 2022, revealed that all the accused, including Asish Keora @ Ashis Keora, Rintu Sk @ Muntaj Ali, Mukesh Singh, Moktar Khan @ Imran and Late Manoj Kumar @ Manoj Modi had entered into a criminal conspiracy to supply explosive materials and detonators to persons involved in illegal mining.

While the charges for the offences committed by Manoj Kumar have been abated following his suicide, Asish Keora @ Ashis Keora, Rintu Sk @ Muntaj Ali, Mukesh Singh and Moktar Khan @ Imran have been charged u/s 120B, 201 & 34 of Indian Penal Code and Sections 4 & 5 of Explosive Substances Act.

Further investigations are in progress against the remaining accused and others who may be involved in the illegal business.