Explosives: Govt tells states Naxals have a new strategy

Security agencies also cracked the code names used by Maoist for these chemicals.

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published: August 29, 2013 1:23 am

The Centre has informed the left wing extremism (LWE) affected states that Maoists have adopted a new strategy to make explosives from easily available material. In an analysis carried out by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) on the directions of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),a study of attacks by Naxals has revealed the use of indigenous chemicals,officers said.

Security agencies also cracked the code names used by Maoist for these chemicals. Sources said the group is helped by a chemical engineer,believed to be settled abroad,who traveled to the Maoist stronghold recently.

Top CRPF officials said,“The Naxals have had conducted tests with about 20 different explosive substances. Out of this,four to five were identified for making landmines and bombs.” These include,fertilizers,potassium dichromate,naphthalene balls and petroleum jelly. According to the study,a combination of potassium chlorate,icing sugar and wax is preferred by the Maoists. In their parlance,potassium chlorate is referred to as ‘soda’ while ammonium nitrate is ‘sabudana’. Till recently,ammonium nitrate was easily available,but in 2012 it was declared a special category explosive under the Explosive Substances Act. Similarly,Naxals refer to ethyl alcohol as ‘keet nasahak dava’ while sulphuric acid is ‘gulab jal’ and petroleum jelly is ‘malham’.

The MHA has laid out measures for the security forces while handling these explosives. “Individually most of the commonly available materials are not covered under the Explosives Act. But when two or more chemicals are mixed,the mixture comes under the act. If any such material is found,an enquiry should be made” an officer said.

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