Easily available home-made explosives major threat, says DRDO chairman
Homemade explosives, like petrol bombs and gelatin sticks, which are easily available in the market are more dangerous than high-end explosives, said Satheesh Reddy, secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development and chairman Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
He was speaking during the second national conference on explosive detection, at Pashan, on Sunday.
During the conference, a rapid identification detector Raider-X was also officially launched. Raider-X can detect up to 20 explosives within a distance of about two metres, but can be expanded as the requirements with certain limitations. It is developed jointly by High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune and IISc Bengaluru.
The conference was held on the occasion of the diamond jubilee celebration of High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, Pune based DRDO laboratory on Sunday.
Reddy, stated that with increasing terrorist activities, detection of explosives became a compelling need of the hour. He said, “Security agencies are continuously suffering from Naxal attacks in various parts of our country. To effectively thwart the attempts of these anti-social elements, academia, DRDO and other scientific institutes must focus on explosive detection in both bulk and trace forms.”
He further said most of the recent terrorist attacks or violent attacks where explosives are observed to be not necessarily high end but are made with elements which are easily available like petrol, gelatin sticks, ammonium nitrate and others. He said, “The research agencies need to focus on such detection too.”
Jayant Naiknavre, DIG, ATS, Mumbai, in his address highlighted the need for indigenous development of versatile explosive detection devices.
He said, “As end-users, we want detection devices which are compact, accurate and can detect with maximum stand-off distance so that the security personnel is not at risk. The DRDO can work on these challenges.”
Shiva Umapathy, director Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal, who had worked on the device said, “The stand-off distance can be increased but this will also increase the size and weight of the kit which might make it difficult for security personnel to move around. The data library also can be upgraded as and more explosives can be added.”
“The device has various applications including narcotics, for local police, for customs and other detection agencies who need to detect various elements which may be explosive or non-explosive in nature,” said Umapathy.