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SOURCE: PTI

The Indian Army’s bomb disposal experts on Tuesday removed the live explosive, which was found a day earlier close to the helipad used by Punjab and Haryana chief ministers in Chandigarh, an official said.

Earlier in the day, the experts of the Indian Army reached the spot where the live explosive was found. After examining the object, they experts decided to take the shell with them, Sanjeev Kohli, nodal officer, disaster management, Chandigarh, told reporters here.

“The Army’s expert team took the decision. They are taking it to the (Army’s Western) Command (near here),” he said.

When asked if the bomb would not be diffused here, Mr Kohli said, “They will take it to the command. They have to analyse it — it is a technical part of their process after which they will (defuse it)”.

The shell was seen being carried in an Army vehicle with police escort vehicles accompanying it.

Another official present at the site said, “In view of public safety, it (the bomb) will be handled at some isolated place.” The experts used a robotic device to remove the explosive from the spot where it had been secured in a ‘bomb basket’ (drum).

They examined the live shell in protective gear inside a police cordon. A fire tender and an ambulance were stationed at the spot in the morning. They were also seen engaging in discussions with the police and administration officials before the bomb was removed.

The area where the bomb was discovered lies in Chandigarh, close to the Chandigarh-Punjab border.

The bomb was found in a mango garden on the Nayagaon-Kansal T-point, which is about a kilometre away from the helipad and about two kilometres from the official residences of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar.

The police questioned several people, including many scrap dealers in nearby areas, for clues on how the bomb could have reached the mango garden where it was found on Monday, sources said.

As soon as the police received information that a bomb-like object had been found in the high-security area, they reached the spot and cordoned off the area.

The local administration later informed the Army.

Mr Kohli had said on Monday, “When we came and checked it we found that it was a live shell. We have secured the area.” 

“It is a matter of investigation how this shell got here.” He had gone on to add, “With the help of the police and the bomb disposal squad team, the shell has been placed in a drum and covered with sandbags and the Army has been informed,” he had said.

The possibility of a scrap dealer dumping it here cannot be ruled out, he had said.

In the past, there have been cases of scrap dealers collecting used shells from the vicinity of military firing ranges.

Punjab Additional Director General of Police AK Pandey, who reached the spot on Monday, had said that it appeared to be a “misfired shell”.

There are many scrap dealers in the area where the shell was found. It is being investigated if anyone could have discarded it here, he had said.