The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Israeli knowhow for Assam

Guwahati, Aug. 17: Assam is planning to procure sophisticated sensors from Israel to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs), one of which claimed 13 lives in Dhemaji on Independence Day.

A senior official said the proposal to buy the state-of-the-art sensors from Israel was not a new one, but admitted that the blast in Dhemaji had forced the government to give it serious thought.

The state police department has no metal detector capable of tracing explosives buried beyond six to eight inches below the soil surface.

The IED that caused the explosion at the venue of the official Independence Day function in Dhemaji could not be detected because it had been planted two-and-a-half feet under the ground.

“Assam has mostly plain, open terrain, which is not suitable for ambushes. Militant groups active in the state, therefore, use blasts more than ambushes to spread terror. Moreover, IEDs create more impact in terms of casualties with less risks for the outfit,” a senior police official said.

The official said a sophisticated sensor was required to detect explosives concealed in special plastic wrappers.

“Militant groups are constantly upgrading their arsenal and the police require high-tech gadgets to keep pace with such adversaries.”

The governor, Lt Gen. (retd) Ajai Singh, supported the proposal to procure sensors from Israel to detect IEDs. The former general-officer-commanding of the army’s Tezpur-based 4 Corps said surveillance devices manufactured in Israel were among the best available worldwide.

Lt Gen. Singh went into a huddle with chief minister Tarun Gogoi and senior district officials to discuss ways to prevent incidents such as the one on Sunday.

An Ulfa militant suspected to have been involved in the blast inside a cinema hall at Gouripur in Dhubri district on Saturday was killed in an encounter last night.

Dhubri superintendent of police .R. Bishnoi said documents seized from the rebel contained information on the preparations for the blast.

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