Govt bans open sale of ammonium nitrate

The government today declared “ammonium nitrate or any combination containing more than 45 per cent of ammonium nitrate” as an explosive substance under the Explosive Act 1884 , thereby curtailing its sale.
The gazette notification clarified that fertilisers from which either ammonium nitrate or any of its combination cannot be extracted would not be classified as explosives.
In 2007, the then home secretary, Madhukar Gupta, had alerted all state governments about the “free diversion” of the substance. At that time it was found that 20,000 kgs of slurry explosives had been stolen with little or no police action. What followed was a clear shift of terror groups from RDX to ammonium nitrate, as evident in the blasts in Varanasi, Malegaon, Hyderabad, Pune and the recent attacks in Mumbai.

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