Palghar: a man locked in a fight with his wife throws 18 homemade bombs

MUMBAI: A small farmer who manufactured explosives at home and threw up to 18 jelly sticks at people, including the police, who was approaching his home in Vikramgad in Palghar, was arrested Tuesday morning after an operation that lasted more than 12 hours.

Santosh Shende, 35, who is fighting a maintenance claim from his wife, seems mentally unstable, police said. Police said they had mastered the art of making bombs, but ruled out terrorist ties. They are trying to find out where he got the raw materials to make the explosives.

The Shendepada resident had dropped about 18 bombs since the beginning of the month, but fortunately no one died or was seriously injured. On December 18, Shende had attacked with another helicopter another villager, Narayan Bendga, who had secured Shende when he obtained bail in the case of assaulting his wife. As Shende was not fulfilling the bail condition of his weekly appearance at the local police station, Bendga had withdrawn his guarantee. The next day, the cops came to arrest him, and Shende greeted them by throwing jelly sticks. Another case of assault on police and possession of explosives was filed against Shende.

After the villagers also complained against him, the police officers of the anti-terrorist cell and the bomb disposal squad began planning to catch him. Shende had two dogs, which would alert him. Our first task was to divert their attention, said Mansing Patil of the anti-terrorist cell.

On Monday night, when the police set a trap, Shende was alerted and could not catch him. Early Tuesday morning, four police teams tried to approach the house undetected, but Shende was ready with a jelly bar. We managed to hit the stick with a sharp object and the explosive fell from his hand and was deactivated, said Patil, who suffered minor bruises.

He has been hired under the IPC for causing damage with dangerous weapons, attacking police and the Explosives Law, and referred to police custody.