New Delhi, May 6: Violence unfortunately has become an integral part of the election process. In the ongoing assembly elections, the two states where many candidates have relied on violence are West Bengal and Kerala.
Ironically in these states the favourite weapon is neither the pistol nor the sword. It is the bomb.
As the election dates are announced, the demand for the bomb makers automatically shoots up.
Bombs are often used to scare and sometimes even kill. Over all it is not a pretty picture and the security forces have had a torrid time in controlling this menace.
Bombs sell cheap:
The preparation of bombs has become like cottage industry in these states. There is high demand during the elections for bombs. In Kerala a bomb maker would be paid an amount of Rs 20,000 to prepare a 100 bombs. In West Bengal 100 bombs are available for Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.
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Right from sourcing the raw material to finding a safe house to prepare the bombs is the responsibility of the one who has taken the contract. In many cases it is the firecracker factories which produce the bombs. However in West Bengal sourcing bombs from firecracker units is a relatively expensive affair.
Most of the bombs that are prepared are by poor people who have made it their livelihood. They have an agent who takes up the contract and hands it over to these people. The demand is very high ahead of the elections, security agencies say.
The one who actually prepares the bomb is paid a meagre Rs 200 per day. In fact such is their living condition that Rs 200 looks like a pot of gold for them.
The charges however vary depending on the nature of the bomb. If an extremely lethal bomb is sought then it sells at a price of Rs 1,500 a piece. The bombs that are of low intensity sell at Rs 200 to 500.
Out of control:
The bombs factories in both West Bengal and Kerala are often spoken about only at the time of the elections. However this menace crops up every time there is an election. It is not just the general and assembly elections that bombs are used for. There is an equally high demand during the local body polls as well.
Security officials in both West Bengal and Kerala find themselves in a catch-22 situation. It is often during the elections that the heat is high. However these persons begin sourcing the raw material well in advance in small quantities and manage to escape the eye of the security forces.
Moreover they work in their homes which makes the job of a police man even harder as there is never concrete intelligence that comes by.
Another aspect that one must also keep in mind is that these bombs are sourced by the high and mighty who contest the polls.
This is also another factor that works in the favour of the bomb makers. The bomb makers too are extremely cautious. There have been instances this year where these persons have installed CCTVs outside their homes to keep a watch on the movement.