Tiruchi: In the wake of bomb blasts and increased threat perception, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has formed an exclusive Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad for the Tiruchi railway division.
This is the third exclusive squad of the RPF in the State, the other two are in Chennai and Coimbatore. The mandate of the newly formed squad is to act immediately on complaints and also undertake checks on their own in major railway stations in the Tiruchi division.
The eight-member squad, headed by a Sub-Inspector, consists of an Assistant Sub-Inspector, six head constables and two constables. It was formed after acquisition of vapour tracer, prodder, bomb suppression blanket, bomb disposal suit, telescopic extension mirror, and under-vehicle search mirror.
Twenty personnel underwent six-week training at the Tamil Nadu Commando School.
Additional manpower would be drawn from the team of trained personnel at times of contingencies, the Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF, Tiruchi, S.R. Gandhi said, acknowledging the need for additional deployment of personnel for the squad during the festival season.
Though the security apparatus had been in place in the forms of Doorframe Metal Detector and sufficient number of metal detectors, the exclusive squad, Mr. Gandhi said, would serve as an effective deterrent to prevent criminals from having their way.
Preventive checks would be carried out in all major stations, he said, adding that while the normal checking of baggage would continue, and the squad will respond comprehensively as and when there are bomb threats.
The squad would be on a constant look out for suspicious objects, and undertake weekly visits to major railway stations spread out in the Tiruchi division, Sub-Inspector V. Subramanian, who heads the squad, said.
Equally vital is the alertness of passengers, Mr. Gandhi said, calling upon passengers to provide immediate information to the RPF in case they come across doubtful objects or suspicious-looking persons in the railway premises.