Technology inadequate to tackle such dangers, says Home Ministry
The Home Ministry has told a parliamentary panel that forces were “unable to detect deep planted mines” with the technology presently available in the areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
On March 13, nine CRPF jawans were killed in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma when a mine protected vehicle they were travelling in was blown up by triggering an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
Devices no use
The IED was planted deep under the road and security forces could not detect the explosives with the search devices available with them.
The Committee of Estimates headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi tabled the report, ‘Central armed police forces and internal security challenges – evaluation and response mechanism’, in Parliament on Monday.
A representative of the Home Ministry, while presenting evidence before the Estimates Committee on violence in LWE-affected States, told the panel, “Presently, we are unable to detect deep planted mines through technology. They [extremists] also keep changing their modus operandi but despite that considerable recoveries are made with intelligence and technical help.”
The representative added, “We had employed Army officers both for training as well as for operations. But the main point is that if we consider this month, only three blasts have taken place before detection. In two such cases, we were using sniffer dogs. Earlier the practice was that button was pressed to detonate. Thereafter, blast used to take place after personnel put their feet on the mine. Today, it is happening that while marching when our clothes are stuck in mines which activate it and the blasts take place. They keep changing their modus operandi very frequently and we are trying to be one step ahead of them,” the report said.
The committee said that it had been informed about the biggest challenge in LWE areas. “Besides, a lot of casualty of security forces in LWE affected areas are taking place due to non-availability of technology to detect the deeply planted mines. The committee desires to take up the matter with the research organisations concerned like DRDO to counter the threats posed by Maoists,” the committee said.
The Home Ministry informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that it had sanctioned 157 MPVs for Central armed police forces (CAPF) to be procured from the Ordnance Factory Board in three years.
“Out of the 157 sanctioned MPVs, 13 have been supplied by OFB to CAPFs so far. The Ministry of Home Affairs has requested the Defence Ministry and OFB to expedite the supply,” Minister of State Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.