Minimising the threat from IEDs


  • In the Dantewada region of Chhattisgarh, an IED (improvised explosive device) murdered 10 District Reserve Guard security guards on April 26. The jawans were ambushed while on an anti-Maoist mission.
  • To find and remove landmines and IEDs, it is crucial to employ several detection techniques rigorously and often. These techniques include using metal detectors, ground-penetrating radar, and trained sniffer dogs.
  • Legislative action is needed to make it mandatory to add odoriferous chemicals and/or biosensors to explosives used in manufacturing, mining, and other applications so that they can be easily detected during shipment. Legislative action is also required for stronger regulations on the production, distribution, and sale of explosives and detonators.

Possible ways to minimise:

  • On Foot is the safest form of transportation in areas where left-wing extremism is prevalent. Vehicles ambushed by landmines or IEDs account for more than 60% of losses and fatalities in Maoist-controlled areas.
  • Return trips shouldn’t take the same path as outbound ones: If using a vehicle is necessary, the outbound and inbound trips should never take the same route or happen during the day. Because Maoists do not detonate IEDs at night, security officers can travel at night in cars with some degree of safety.
  • If transportation is required, security forces are expected to use buses operated by the State Road Transport Corporation or the general public. They must travel in mufti alongside civilians while discreetly concealing their weapons.
  • Protective equipment is necessary for security troops operating in conflict zones where the use of vehicles is unavoidable. Examples of such equipment include helmets, blast-resistant clothes, and eye protection.
  • To reduce damage in the event of an explosion, armoured vehicles should have a V-shaped, armour-plated hull, blast-resistant technology, and adequate sandbagging. The vehicles with rotatory seats that face outward should have machine guns and other armaments installed on top of them.
  • Security forces should always travel in a group of at least two to three vehicles, keeping at least 40 to 50 metres between them, so that even if one vehicle gets stuck in a landmine, the people in the other vehicles can take cover and neutralise the threat.
  • Deployment of several detection techniques with rigour and regularity: Landmines and IEDs should be located and removed using metal detectors, ground-penetrating radar, and trained sniffer dogs. UGV-equipped road opening parties can spot warning indicators of a potential ambush.
  • Areas known or suspected to contain landmines or IEDs can be mapped, and contingency plans can be made for them, depending on the detection techniques utilised. As part of both preventive and mitigating actions, this involves constructing safe routes, setting up checkpoints, and developing evacuation plans.
  • On a long-term basis, relationships must be fostered and goodwill must be generated among the local populace, above and beyond transactional levels. Security forces must have perseverance, dedication, empathy, and honesty to do this.
  • The best approach to prevent tactical errors is a good, old routine. To reduce errors, standard operating procedures, technological tools, and other best practices should be used.