| A government vehicle goes up in flames after a petrol bomb was hurled by goons during the recent agitation of the NGOs in Shillong. File picture |
Shillong, May.2: Molotov is back to haunt both the police and the district administration in Shillong.
It has been a trend to use petrol and kerosene bombs known as Molotov cocktails or Molotov by protesters during agitation here in the past.
Named after former Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, the fire bottles were used by Finland against the Soviet Union in the late 1930s.
During the ongoing agitation, too, there were several instances of hurling petrol bombs and in one case, a kerosene bomb, on government vehicles, buildings and haystacks.
Recently, a truck driver also escaped a bid on his life after he jumped out of the vehicle when goons hurled a petrol bomb at it.
East Khasi Hills superintendent of police A.R. Mawthoh said concerned over the rise in the use of Molotovs to damage vehicles and other public property in parts of Shillong, the police have decided to beef up intelligence gathering.
“We hope that with better intelligence gathering, we will be able to tackle the menace,” Mawthoh said.
According to the police official, if the ignited Molotov is hurled at a person, it can be fatal.
The method to prepare these bombs is simple. One needs a bottle and kerosene or petrol to fill it up with. Then a wick is inserted in place of the cap, which is ignited and hurled at the target.
While hand grenades or other explosives are costly and difficult to procure, the goons are using Molotovs to cause maximum damage.
As a measure to check the use of petrol for making bombs the East Khasi Hills district administration has prohibited petrol pump owners to sell loose petrol to anyone in the district.
“We have issued directions to the petrol pump owners not to sell loose petrol,” said East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner Sanjay Goyal.
He said there would be a check on black marketing of kerosene in parts of Shillong. At present, there is only provision under Section 144CrPC to prevent the recurrence of use of petrol bombs.
“We need to check whether the provisions of Arms Act would be applicable to tackle those who use petrol bombs,” Goyal said.
According to the deputy commissioner, if the government comes to know about the manufacturing areas of petrol and kerosene bombs, firm action would be taken against those who resort to this means of violence.