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Experts say post blast investigations ineffective
May 14, 2008 21:28 IST
The terror attack on Jaipur that left a trail of death and destruction has once again raised questions on the effectiveness of post blast investigations.
Despite security experts finding similarities between the latest blasts and the past explosions at Varanasi and the dargah at Ajmer, investigators have not been able to pin down the perpetrators. Analysts blame the infrastructural and procedural inadequacies of the police.
Experts at the National Security Guard point out that after every blast, its bomb disposal squad hands over to the police its findings.
"It is for you to make the judgement, the picture is in front of you. Our job is to give leads to policemen. If they have failed in finding out the culprits, we are not responsible," says a senior official of National Security Guard, the country's premier counter terrorism force.
He explains, "In India only the NSG and Border Security Force have trained bomb disposal squads who in turn train policemen. Every state should have its own wing with the requisite equipments and adequate staff".
While terrorists are increasingly going high tech using remote-controlled devices like the recent one in Jaipur where all 8 blasts occured within a span of 12 minutes, experts point out that investigators in many states of our country continue to depend on traditional ways to diffuse bombs and investigate blasts. This is a far cry from technologies and infrastructure prevalant in other countries.
"We are still backwards when it comes to post blast investigation technologies. If you compare with the US or UK, they are far ahead of us," says a Major in the Indian Army.
Leaving aside Jammu and Kashmir [Images], Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, the rest of the country still follow the time-tested ways of bomb diffusing and post blast investigation process, the Major says.
"Only a few states, including UP and Andhra Pradesh use modern equipment such as optical fibroscope for their Bomb Disposal Squad," says an official of Karl Storz, a company which provides equipment to the BDS.
The July 2007 car bomb plot in Glasgow was foiled by the BDS in London [Images]. However, Indian policemen on the other hand were clueless about diffusing bombs kept in tiffin boxes in the May 2007 Hyderabad mosque blast.
In other incidents two bomb disposal squad personnel of the Criminal Investigation Department were killed while defusing a bomb at the maoist-infested Jhitka area under Lalgarh police station in West Bengal's West Midnapore district on September 21, 2006.
The blast occurred when a bomb concealed in an aluminium tiffin box found on a road was being defused by the bomb disposal squad. Police and eyewitnesses said the personnel who had not donned protective jackets were using their bare hands and a chisel and a hammer to pry open the tiffin box.