Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: A display of anti-sabotage equipment, fire arms, lethal explosives, crime scene reconstructions and detection aids is proving to be a big draw at the Forensic Science Awareness Week exhibition organised by the State Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) here.

The latest acquisitions of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad are on display, including the Rs. 13-lakh equipment used for inspecting the floorboard of vehicles for concealed bombs.

Sreekumar, squad member, said the latest and highly receptive PD 141 Italian-made, handheld metal-detector could sense even the aluminium foil inside a cigarette cover.

The squad has also put on display a Russian-made device used for detecting remote-controlled improvised explosive devices. Electromagnetic waves from the equipment can sense electronic circuits in a wide area and identify the types used in remote-controlled bombs.

Another state-of-the-art Russian-made anti-sabotage device is the Rs.14-lakh MO2M explosive detector. The machine can identify the nature of the explosive by sensing the movement of ions through the substance.

A wide range of explosive devices is on display at the exhibition. These include crude "throw-down" type country bombs, complex mail bombs, fuel bombs and lethal explosive devices concealed inside pipes and steel containers. Samples of explosive substances, including gelignite and RDX, are on display. Also on display is a liquid bomb that can be quickly improvised by mixing acetone and hydrogen peroxide, substances easily available at chemical shops.

Somarajan, Assistant Director, FSL-Explosives Wing, said the laboratory had handled timed explosive devices, including the infamous one that was planted at a bar hotel in the city in 1993. The FSL had also analysed the pipe bombs discovered at Kadalundi during the same period.

The firearms on display include the 7.62-mm AK-47 assault rifle, 9-mm Browning automatic pistol, U.S.-made Rugger revolver, muzzle-loading guns, 12-bore double barrels and air-powered rifles. Binu and Divakar, firearm experts, said the police had acquired some .303 Lee Enfield rifles modified to fire plastic pellets. The exhibition will end on February 12.