Hyderabad: For the highly trained bomb experts of the elite counter terrorism force, the National Security Guards (NSG), handling Improvised Explosive De-vices (IEDs) or any other suspicious objects, either concealed or left in the open, will become much safer with the acquisition of a Suspect Luggage Con-tainment Vehicle (SLCV) and Portable Explosive Containment System (PECS). The latest acquisitions will not only ensure the safety of NSG personnel but also of the public at large.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently issued the revised Qualitative Requirement specifications for acquiring the latest SLCV and PECS and quite a few companies have given a demonstration based on the specifications given by the NSG. The specifications were given after a meeting of technical experts at the NSG headquarters in New Delhi.
Sources told Deccan Chronicle that an SLCV will allow NSG personnel to safely and quickly contain suspicious luggage like suitcases, briefcases, bags or packages. The personnel will be able to move the suspicious objects or IEDs concealed in them away from populated areas until the response team arrives at the scene.
“'A major advantage with SLCV is the total containment of fragmentation and thermal effects associated with the explosive charges. It will lead to quick transport away from the scene, which could be a populated area,” an official said.
As per the specifications issued by the NSG, they want such an advanced system that the bomb experts should be able to X-ray the suspicious luggage and get a clear image of the suspected device and mechanism inside the luggage. Similarly, for the PECS, the agency wants a minimum sustaining capacity of three kilos TNT or equivalent chemical used in an IED. If need be, it should also be airlifted and taken to another area, the NSG has said.
“PECS are designed for the safe storage of explosive material or toxic material. The gas tight chambers normally withstand multiple detonations and they safely contain potentially dangerous substances. We are looking for one that is suitable for transporting explosives by air, land, or by sea and storage at various places,” an official said. Both SLCV and PECS are tested multiple times before the delivery is made to the buyer. “Demos have been given by some companies. Officials are assessing it to suit the requirements of the agency,'' sources said, adding that the cost of both items put together runs into a few crores.
In the aftermath of the terror attack on Pathan-kot air base in January 2016, where heavily armed terrorists stormed the air base, the NSG had revised the Standing Operating Procedure for its bomb disposal squad after Lt Colonel KK Niranjan died while he was carrying out the body search of one of the slain terrorists on the second day of the attack. A team led by Lt Col Niranjan was diffusing the explosives. Thereafter, NSG had purchased bomb suits for the safety of their bomb experts.
“After home minister Amit Shah has taken over, a lot of pending proposals are being finalised and purchases are being done swiftly,” the official said.