Police have seized about 360 kg of gunpowder from a forest near the famed Lord Ayyappa temple. The explosive material kept in 12 containers (each weighing over 30 kg), was found at Sabari Peetam in the Sabarimala-Pampa forest route, just three km away from the Temple.
The explosives were seized during a combing operation carried out by the Kerala police and Central forces as part security exercise.
The material, assumed to be gunpowder, was suspected to have been brought for the ‘vedi vazhipadu’, held annually at Sabari Peetam as part of the Vishu festival, which has been banned recently by the forest department.
“The fireworks contractor might have abandoned the unused explosives after the ban,” an official said.
The mud and dirt on the plastic containers indicate that the explosives had been lying there for a long time. The explosive materials were later shifted to the Sannidhanam by a tractor and stored at the magazine maintained by the Travancore Devaswom Board.
A case had been registered under Section 9(B)(1)(b) of the Explosives Act.