India Sci-Tech
Hi-tech landmines baffle Jharkhand Police
May 10, 2007 - 4:42:29 PM

Ranchi, May 10 - When some Jharkhand cops succeeded in tracing a radio signal-based landmine this week, they considered themselves lucky. For, Maoists in the state are increasingly going high-tech with their landmines, resulting in heavy casualties in the police force.

In Tuesday's incident in Bokaro district, the landmine was recovered when a police party was on long range patrolling. The rebels had fitted an antenna in the landmine so as to blast it by activating a wireless set.

Landmine blasts have claimed the lives of more than 170 security personnel in Jharkhand in the last six years - and the high number of deaths is partly attributed to the different types of landmines used by the rebels on tarred as well as non-tarred roads.

'So far Maoist rebels have used wires to blast landmines, claymore landmines, camera flash landmines, mobile landmines and radio signal landmines,' a senior police involved in anti-Maoist operations told IANS.

'Maoist rebels change the technique of landmines to ensure a high casualty.'

In mobile landmines, for instance, cell phones are fitted in the landmine and an explosion is triggered if a call is made to the phone. In the camera flash landmine, a flash can cause the blast.

Even Jharkhand Director General of Police - J.B. Mahapatra admitted that the Maoists were equipped with the latest technology to detonate landmines.

'Maoist rebels use different methods to detonate landmines. The latest is radio signal technology which is detonated with the activation of wireless sets,' he said.

In Jharkhand, the guerrillas of the Communist Party of India-Maoist - have planted landmines on both tarred and non-tarred roads. Landmines on tarred roads are usually planted by alluring workers and contractors or threatening them.

Police have stopped long range patrolling during night due to the threat of landmine blasts. Security personnel have also been directed to get down from their vehicle on non-tarred roads.

Police officials involved in operations against Maoists say they do not have the latest technology to detect landmines.

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