Smaller Disposal, Detection Teams Can Be Formed For Bomb Threats, Delhi HC Told

The Delhi Police said there are also 23 BDS/BDT units of the Central Armed Police Forces stationed in the national capital, which can be deployed after due approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs

Multiple schools receive bomb threat in Delhi NCR
Preparing for bomb threats to work efficiently | Photo: PTI

The city police have told the Delhi High Court that smaller teams from their existing strength of five bomb disposal squads (BDS) and 18 bomb detection teams (BDT) can be formed to meet the requirement of more such units in case of an emergency.

The Delhi Police said there are also 23 BDS/BDT units of the Central Armed Police Forces stationed in the national capital, which can be deployed after due approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

It further said five batches of BDS/BDT, having 15 personnel in each batch, will also be trained in this regard.

The stand of the police, which has earlier said there are a total of five BDS and 18 BDT for over 4,600 schools here, came on an additional affidavit filed in a 2023 petition by Arpit Bhargava, a lawyer by profession, in the wake of a hoax bomb threat in Delhi Public School (DPS), Mathura Road here.

"There are 18 Bomb Detection Teams working in Delhi Police located at base stations with the objective of minimizing response time and to ensure coverage of the geographical area of the concerned District.

"There are five Bomb Disposal Squads presently working in Delhi Police located at base stations," said the police in its latest affidavit.

"There are provisions to form smaller teams in case of emergency to meet the requirement of more BDS/BDT teams. During the G-20 Summit we have formed 33 teams using existing resources and staff of above mentioned teams and met our objective efficiently," it said.

It further said the trained staff of BDS/BDT undergo refresher courses periodically to update the changing scenario and technology.

The response added that as per the standard operating procedure, BDS is pressed into action only after the BDT concerned has inspected the spot and reported something suspicious in the nature of an IED/explosive, which requires the intervention of BDS.

AI movement command for a BDS is under the control of the district DCP concerned where the said BDS is stationed and on the demand of the BDS by the BDT, the district control room makes available the nearest available BDS for responding the call, the affidavit added.

In an earlier report, the police had stated that there was one BDS each in Central, East, New Delhi and South "ranges", having 1,764, 1,032, 76, 1,762 schools, respectively.

There is one squad with railways and metro unit range, it had said.

"There are 18 Bomb Detection Teams, one each stationed in all 15 districts and one each for IGI Airport, Railway Unit and Metro Unit. The reporting authority for the BDT is the concerned district DCP or Unit DCP. A total of 120 mock drills have been conducted in schools from 01.01.2023 till 06.05.2024," the earlier report had stated.

It had further said that a detailed Standard Operating Procedure for Bomb Disposal Squads & Bomb Detection Teams was already issued in 2021 and the nodal officers would respond to threat calls accordingly.

The Directorate of Education (DoE), in its status report, earlier said that it has a "zero-tolerance policy" in matters of safety in schools and its officials are doing their best to ensure the effective implementation of the guidelines for dealing with disasters, including bomb threats.

The DoE said it has issued several directions to the institutions to "step up" their safety and security measures, including a circular dated April 16 on precautionary measures and the role of the school authorities in cases of bomb threats.