An unexploded shell of World War II has been found in Lamba Line area near the Veer Savarkar Airport at Port Blair on the morning of 9th October, 2009. As the news spread, thousands of people of the Andaman Islands gathered at the area to catch the glimpses of the unexploded ordnance (EXO).
According to the A & N Police, the owner of the plot, Mr. Mahesh Kumar was carrying out construction work on the said plot and during the extraction of earth, the construction workers found the shell. “We found it this morning and immediately informed the police about the bomb,” said Mahesh Kumar.
“The matter was informed to the police and our bomb squad team is now examining the shell, which doesn’t have any marking. This is why we can’t say whether the shell was dropped by Japanese or British forces,” V Ranganathan, the Superintendent of Police in Andaman told UNI.
The police have sealed the entire area and experts from the defence forces have also been called in for examination. “We are now examining the shell and only after proper investigation we can say anything more,” the SP added. Mr. Ranganathan, however confirmed that the shell still has explosives inside and is 1.3 metre in length and 1.2 metre in diameter.
In the last six years, in two different cases, huge amount of ammunitions were earlier found in the Aberdeen Bazaar area at Port Blair and Arong village at Car Nicobar, which were believed to be kept by the Japanese forces during their occupation in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from 1942 to 1945.
History has it that during the World War II, the Japanese forces had heavily bombarded these islands and captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the forces of the British Government of India in 1942. But during 1942 to 1945, when these Islands were under the Japanese rule, the British forces used to bomb these islands periodically based on specific information received from a British spy, Denis McCarthy in a bid to retrieve the significant Island territory from the Japanese control.
The place where this Unexploded Ordnance (a shell) has been found is situated very close to Port Blair’s lone Airport which harbors a naval airbase of the Indian Navy called INS Utkrosh. The airport was actually built by the Japanese forces during the World War II and was obviously one of the prime targets of the British bombers.
Meanwhile, grapevine in the Islands is hot due to the thrilling discovery and will continue heating up until the mystery unfolds further.