Gearing up to tackle terror

LEARNING THE TECHNIQUES: Police personnel undergo training at the programme in Cuddalore on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo:C. Venkatachalapathy

A.V. Ragunathan

Police personnel trained in bomb detection, disposal techniques

CUDDALORE: With terrorist menace and bomb threats assuming alarming proportions, it has become vital to keep the armed constabulary informed of bomb detection and disposal techniques.

Whenever unidentified objects or improvised explosive devices are found, police personnel on the normal beat will find it difficult to handle them. To help them learn more about such dangerous devices, a two-day training programme was launched here on Saturday.

About 100 personnel, including Sub-Inspectors, from the Armed Reserve Constabulary were offered training by a bomb detection and disposal squad comprising Inspector R. Ravindran, Sub-Inspector M. Anand Jothi and head constables Babu, Murugan, Arul and Muruganandam.

Mr. Jothi told The Hindu that police and railway stations generally received anonymous calls and letters warning about improvised explosive devices being planted at public places. The general public would panic on learning about such threats, which could lead to chaos. Recently, two private schools at Vriddhachalam cancelled their half yearly examinations following a bomb threat, which later turned out to be a hoax. Parents rushed to the school to bring back their children home, which also led to traffic snarls on the roads.

If the security personnel had some acquaintance with explosive devices and detection equipment, they would be able to act fast and in a decisive manner, Mr. Jothi said.

The training programme was intended to teach the personnel about the functioning of devices such as hand-held metal detector, door-frame metal detector, search lights, mine detector and so on.

If the personnel found any suspicious object, they should immediately cordon off the area and remove the people. The should promptly alert their higher-ups, he said.

The programme was designed to help the personnel to quickly defuse tension and avert a possible fallout. It was being organised at the behest of Superintendent of Police Pradip Kumar.

Remaining 200 personnel of the Armed Reserve Police force would undergo the training in the subsequent week-ends, Mr. Jothi said.