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‘Police want to reassess regulatory mechanism on supply of explosives for mining'

Staff Reporter

We favour a process of delayed explosion and a ban on gelatine sticks: DGP

BHUBANESWAR: With Left wing extremists frequently resorting to blasting of government infrastructure, the State police wanted to reassess the prevailing regulation pertaining to the supply and monitoring of explosives in mineral-rich regions.

Addressing a seminar on “Secure Cities India-II - New age technologies and training for combating terror”, Director-General of Police Manmohan Praharaj here on Monday said present regulatory mechanism was not adequate to control and monitor supply of explosives in the State.

“We insisted that that gelatine sticks be banned and slurry types of explosive be introduced. But mining people have their own interests,” said Mr. Praharaj.

He said mining operators wanted exploders to blow up instantly whereas police suggested process of delayed explosion. “All these things have been debated. There is a need to further tighten the supply regime,” the DGP said.

Mr. Praharaj said the explosion being carried out a decade and a half ago in mining activities had gone up by 10 times now. Large volumes of explosive materials were available to terrorist groups.

Narrating the Orissa experience, the senior cop said IED (improvised explosive device) threat usually came from naxalites in the State.

“Our expertise in handling IEDs is quite good. But it is always a cat and mouse game. They try to upgrade their tricks and we try to learn and improve,” the DGP said.

Mr. Praharaj said the police establishments tried to take help of combat engineers in diffusing IED, but they were of no use. “Combat engineers were only trained on laying and destroying mines in combat situation.”

Describing possible threats for the State, the DGP said there were many important defence establishments along the coast and opponents were constantly trying to target those. However, presence of security forces was very thin and virtually non-existent in some parts, Mr. Praharaj said.

Similarly, he expressed dissatisfaction over non-adherence to security plan for car festival in Puri. No awareness among people was generated and if a cracker exploded, the resulting stampede would take many lives, the senior police official apprehended.

Mr. Praharaj rued massive shortage of quality manpower in the State police. “Against 176 sanctioned posts for officers in rank of Indian Police Services, 82 posts are lying vacant. Similarly, there was none in the 56 sanctioned post of Orissa Police Service,” he said.

Security Watch India in association with IPPAI (Independent Power Producers Association of India) and with support of Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission organised the seminar on how to prevent the acts of terror.

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