w60Bomb is an explosive device, which when explodes, the temperature created due to explosion may reach at 30000C and the pressure thus released, creates a thrust which can draw a maximum limit of 15,000 PSI of its original volume and a storm of shock wave is formed which travels up to 1 km/sec.

The Bomb Technicians risk their lives while combating the threat of bomb menace in the line of duty, tackling the challenges to dispose/diffuse the bombs. In the process, BDDS (Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad), CID, West Bengal lost four precious lives of well-trained Bomb Technicians, since its inception, in 1992.

With the emerging trend of Improvised  Explosive  Device(IED) implant technology there has always been an “element of surprise.” It is always changed while choosing the method of plantation of IED which are preferred  by  the  perpetrator. This imposes  a  challenge by itself, to unravel.

In one such account, the Left Wing Extremists(LWE) planted an Improvised Explosive Device (Bomb) in the abdomen of a martyred CRPF Jawan, who died in an encounter with the LWEs in Katiya jungle at Kumandih village, Latehar, Jharkhand on 7 January, 2013. The body of the deceased was airlifted from the war-site to Rajendra Institute of Medical Science, Ranchi, for a post mortem.

w61It was beyond imagination of the Security Forces that a dead body could be used as ‘Human Bomb’ to inflict severe casualty on the forces by explosion. In the post mortem room, Doctors while dissecting the body discovered the stitch on the abdomen which raised their suspicion about the presence of a foreign body. It was confirmed after the body was scanned through X-ray by the expert of Bomb Squad. The Bomb Squad personnel found image of an IED which was implanted in the body with a digital timer delay mechanism, intended to explode at a preferred time.

The experts of Bomb Squad, was assigned to diffuse the IED and they prepared another bomb “shaped-charge” and disposed the planted mechanism by means of controlled explosion, which saved lives of others in the hospital premises. Nowadays “High /Dynamic” Technologies are being used by the perpetrators to carry out such rebellious activities. The Security Forces need to be trained about such types of mechanism. We learn about such technology and tactics, study and review the same only when an incident occurs, but this traditional practice needs to be reversed.

‘State Bomb Data Centre’ – a specialised ancillary unit has been established in CID as per the order of the then DG & IGP, WB, in 2016 under supervision o f a DSP, designated as Director, SBDC. Officers of this unit collect, collate, analyze and evaluate every terrorist and criminal bombing activities reported in the state and pass on relevant information to concerned law enforcement agencies. They also develop concepts for tackling bomb threat situations normally terrorists and criminals create. The officers and men of State Bomb Data Centre keep themselves abreast with the latest technologies of bomb making in the country and abroad. They compile, disseminate periodic statistical data and analytical information on terrorist/criminal  bombing activities and carry out research and innovation in the field of bomb disposal equipment that suits local needs and conditions.

w62A workshop for repairing of various bomb disposal equipments is run by State Bomb Data Centre (SBDC) at CID headquarters, Bhabani Bhawan. At present 128 well trained Bomb Technicians are working 24X7 in 12 units. Existing BDDS units are located at CID, Head Quarters, Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, Howrah GRP, SVSPA Barrackpore, Behrampur, Malda, Siliguri, Alipurduar, Purulia, Midnapore, CIF-Durgapur and Durgapur. Five more BDDS units will be functional in 3 GRPS and one CIF in near future.

The Bomb Technicians of BDDS are trained from national and international level security organizations like NSG, BSF, ITBP, FBI, USA etc. BDDS organises training programmes at regular basis for WBP, RPF, SSB personnel as to sensitise and familiarize them with various types of Bombs and IEDs. The specially trained unit based at SVSPA, Barrackpore, regularly imparts training on different aspects of bomb detection & disposal to officers in all rank of West Bengal Police. Besides, BDDS also imparts training to personnel of airport security, oil industry, leading IT companies and premium educational institutions and universities for safe disposal of bombs.

Tapas Kumar Roy

Director, State Bomb Data Centre