Meghalaya's bomb disposal squad inadequate

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Shillong, Nov 4 (UNI) Meghalaya Police does not have a full-fledged bomb disposal squad or even a Forensic Science Laboratory in the state, a senior official said today.

'' There are no bomb disposal squads in the three districts of Garo Hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri-Bhoi and West Khasi Hills, barring Shillong,'' a senior police official, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

Not only that, the state police is handicapped to a large extent in the absence of a complete Forensic Science Laboratory.

Recently, the acting Director of FSL, P D Nongrum, stated that the FSL was on the verge of closure due to shortage of manpower.

'' The state police are not geared up for a post blast scenario like Thursday's Assam bomb attack. The state needs to raise a special team for it,'' Inspector General of Police (IGP) Eastern Range B L Buam told reporters here after two abandoned handbags created panic here.

'' The state needs to raise a special team to tackle with terror-like situation,'' he added.

Mr Buam's admission was corroborated by yesterday's ''unprofessional'' disposal of the two abandoned handbags by the Bomb Disposal Squad.

Immediately, after the two bags were reportedly found abandoned in Police Bazaar the police swooped in. However, the bomb disposal squad, without any protection gears, disposed off the handbags with hooks and wires.

The bomb trailer was found stuck in the traffic jam and had no beacon lights to give right of way and reached the area after much difficulty.

The IG, however, said the Special Operation Team (SOT) and Quick Reaction Teams (QRT) have been put on alert to tackle any eventualities.

Last week, security agencies had have identified 11 places in Meghalaya vulnerable to terror attacks.

Of the eleven places, four are located in Shillong and Garo Hills and three in Jaintia Hills district.

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