KOZHIKODE: The bomb detection squad office of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) at Kozhikode railway station has been closed down for the past six months. However, according to higher authorities, the service of the centre would be available when needed. Meanwhile, the offices in Chennai, Madurai, Trichy, Salem and Thiruvanantha-puram are still working independently.
Though the officials were not permanently available, they would be made available if there was an emergency, i.e., when a suspicious incidence occurs, said Railway Divisional Security Commissioner (Palakkad) Chokka Raghuveer. It was in 2013 that the special squad started functioning in Kozhikode station in Palakkad division, with one ASI and three constables.
However, the closure of the squad office has resulted in hi-tech equipment that cost lakhs of rupees in danger of rusting as there is nobody to maintain them. The rapid force that arrives on special duty occasions would not be interested in maintaining them. “The duty of the RPF bomb squad is not something to be done on a daily basis unlike the one in the police department. They are a camouflage force and need not be stationed in a particular office all the time. They can assemble on the spot if information is passed on,” said Mr Raghuveer.
Though earlier, staff shortage was hinted at the closing of the office in Kozhikode, one ASI and four constables were appointed at the RPF outpost in Vadakara, which does not have equipment. Whereas Kozhikode office has a searchlight, computer printer, walkie talkie, HHMD, telescopic mirror, DFMD, explosive detector, trolley mirror, bomb disposal suit etc....