Shocker from police chief: One bomb suit enough
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Officials of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) have been for long desperately pleading for additional bomb suits, but Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol feels one bomb suit — which is available, that too worn out — is sufficient for Pune police.
Pol's statement, which stunned BDDS officials as their response showed, came during an interaction with journalists organised by the Pune Union of Working Journalists on Sunday, where the police chief discussed the preparedness of the police for the Ganesh festival, especially in the backdrop of the low intensity blasts on Jangli Maharaj Road on August 1.
The Indian Express had reported that when BDDS personnel had defused bombs and detonators on J M Road on August 1, only one of them was wearing the suit, which as per the police staff was torn and 12 years old. At other spots where the Improvised Explosive Devices were to be defused, cops were found wearing bullet-proof jackets and two-wheeler helmets.
In June, staffers from the Pune units of BDDS had communicated to the higher authorities that functioning with a worn out suit was putting their lives at risk. They had no alternative but use the same suit on August 1, and for all other subsequent calls about suspected bombs. The process of acquiring the suits by the state is stuck due to alleged corruption, litigation and an inquiry by the Anti Corruption Bureau.
On Sunday, as Pol discussed how the police and BDDS officers had been training college students to handle disaster or terror strikes, a question about bomb suits was asked. Pol replied, "I think one suit is sufficient for us."
The BDDS unit has repeatedly communicated its demand for six suits. Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjivkumar Singhal had told Newsline that the process to acquire the suits had been initiated.
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