A huge cache of ammunition and explosives was recovered from a coastal hamlet near Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram town on Monday, reported The Hindu. The police suspect Tamil militant groups could have left the stash behind.

The police said Edison – a resident Anthoniyarpuram village – found a box of bullets while constructing a septic tank on Monday. A team of police officials led by Ramanathapuram District Superintendent of Police Omprakash Meena dug out more than 20 boxes containing ammunition for different weapons. They also recovered explosives, detonators and detonator launchers.

Meena said the haul included cartridges for light machine guns, medium machine guns and self-loading rifles. “In all, the police recovered 22 boxes, each with 250 rounds of bullets, till 9 pm on Monday,” he added.

“At present, we are counting the number of rounds seized and investigating their make and origin,” the top police official told The Times of India. “They could be more than 25 years old.”

Deputy Inspector General of Ramnad range N Kamini said the stash could have belonged to groups such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that were active in the area during the height of the insurgency in Sri Lanka, The New Indian Express reported.

Local people told The Hindu that Anthoniyarpuram, which was uninhabited in the late 1980s, was frequented by Tamil militant organisations, especially the LTTE and the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front. These militant organisations used the seashore as their base for smuggling arms and ammunition during their fight against the Sri Lankan forces for an independent state.