Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) police seized a major haul of explosives from District Bagh in Azad Jammu Kashmir, an official said on Saturday.
Kamran Ali, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) district Bagh, told Dawn that police raided a house in Nomanpura village on a tip-off, where they found 80 kilogrammes of explosive material stashed by two suspects who are said to be residents of Dargai, in Malakand Agency.
The two men were living in Bagh in a rented property owned by a local for the past 12 years, the SSP said.
Nomanpura village is located five kilometres outside the district headquarters of Bagh.
The SSP said that a third suspect had been living with the captured suspects but had fled before the police raid. “However, we will soon hunt him down,” SSP Ali added.
“Around 52kg of [the recovered]explosive material was in ready condition, while the remaining material was in raw form,” the SSP said.
Individuals area allowed to keep explosive material for the purpose of controlled blasting for road construction or mining, but a special license is required and the quantity of explosives that is to be kept at one place at a time also needs to be communicated to authorities.
He said it would be premature to say if the explosives were stashed for a terrorist activity.
“Whatever may be the purpose, possessing such a huge quantity of explosives without any NOC (No Objection Certificate) or intimation to any law enforcement agency is a crime itself, particularly in the wake of the prevailing situation in the country,” SSP Ali said.
“We will be able to share further information after interrogating the accused,” he added.
He said the accused have been booked under Section 5 of the Explosives Act as well as section 15 of the Arms Ordinance.
They will be produced before a judicial magistrate.