Tag Archives: shells

the vulture Culture, when blood becomes the ink

I never thought i could see some one cry with dry eyes. Her eyes were dry casue they were replaying the scene when her 17 yr old was trying to make an extra buck, his fault- what he thought was metal came out to be an unexploded live shell.

While the 17 yrs old dies on the spot wiht this 14 yr old friend, both of whom found the shell while bathing in the river which ran next to their colony/skum(u choose the term), their mothers were as quiet as the blood stains al over the walls of the area.

Dead bodies are never pleasant, neither are injuries but still Police gave the emotionless quotes explaining what we all saw, residents walked in shock and journalists- well they had something more to do. Most wanted to click the pool of blood, while flies were on it, not flying. Many were feeling frustrated that the bodies were taken just before they arrieved. Many compared this blast to anoher blast where they could capture the dead body’s limbs in an order that provoked pain and puke. Few were disappointed on the fact that the families were not crying enuf, and when one female member started to beat her chest, they all lept to capture it.

There were few who pushed the camera to the lady whose neighbours had lost their sons and asked her to detail what she saw, wht she thought and wht did she do. After 5 min there was que to take a shot of the lady becasue she was hapy to pose wiht the blood stains, the shop where the havoc happened and the slippers which still had signs of the ppl who once wore it.

While the police blame the explosion on the shell a 60 yr oldl, who has been living in the Dhakka Basti of the Azad Colony where the blast occurred, said that the children died of poverty, “The blast took place because the children were trying to extract copper from a bomb in the shop. They were not educated enough to know that it was a bomb and hungry enough to hit it with a heavy rock.”

the distant attitude of the police, i understand. the shocked neighbours i understand even those who were posing, but US, i am not sure.

As we counted the dead and the injured a senior walked upto me and told me not to get disturbed, he dint say any more. because at some level the more pain we see, the more we write. Does blood fuel our ink?


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Army begins biggest operation to destroy deadly scrap

LUDHIANA: Mortar bombs, projectiles, grenades, rockets, detonators, artillery shells were unheard of in Shekowal and Kalewal village, until Indian Army’s biggest operation to dispose off scrap ammunitions began there in November.

Over 30 kms from here, 738 residents and 2,500 animals of the villages are evacuated each day by the police to the nearby Gurdwara and other safe places so that the Army can transport, segregate and then dispose of over 17,000 pieces of ammunitions of unknown origin that made their way to the centre of the industrial capital of Punjab.

Steel and other metal re-rolling units in Punjab had imported the scrap at throwaway prices between 1999 and 2004. They had not specified the nature of the consignment and only mentioning scrap while taking permission for the imports. It was only during inspections by Customs that their hazardous nature was discovered at a dry port in the industrial hub of Ludhiana in 2004 but it took nearly six years to start the process of disposing it off.

“Bomb disposal is always high risk so we take extra precautions to ensure the safety of the men handling the ammunition, the villagers and even the cattle. We execute six to eight blasts every day and the project should be complete in two months. The sheer scale of the operation has given us a chance to train our team,” said Lt. Col. Vinod Bhat, commanding officer of the 202 Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU), about the Operation.

The operation has been named ‘Saiyam'(patience). “We have been trained but each time a bomb is picked or placed there is considerable risk involved, that is why the remote controlled vehicles, telescopic handling machines, bomb suits etc are used, if proper precautions are taken there is little fear left,” said a jawan in a bomb suit as he picked a rusted piece of metal and carefully placed it on a padded crane. The scrap was intended to be recycled for the steel industry and had the explosives gone off while melting the scrap, consequences would have been catastrophic.

The ammunitions, weighing over 50 tonnes, was imported into the country in the garb of metal scrap to be recycled into steel. It was stored in five containers, four of which were 20 feet long and one was 40 feet in length at the dry port which is located inside a populated area in Ludhiana. Operation Saiyam will cost about Rs. 13.5 million and the authorities have levied this penalty on the eight private individuals who imported the scrap. Till now, Army officers have conducted over 60 blasts and destroyed over 1400 pieces. “It is only through visual inspection that we saying that there are about 17,000 pieces of ammunitions. We have not counted them physically. The number can go up when we take actual stock of the situation in the coming days,” he said. “This is a very tedious process and consumes a long time. Our officers cannot rush things and they have to be very patient. Therefore, we keep rotating our officers on different jobs so that monotony does not set in,” Lt. Col. Bhat pointed out.

The villagers have been told to keep away from their fields between 7 am and 5 pm till the operation is completed. Army aims to destroy the large calibre ammunition first so that the villages can be rehabilitates as soon as possible, “the cooperation of the villagers is very important, we have 12 police posts to ensure that once the blasts begin, there is no one around the area and until we are left with very small calibre ammunitions, we won’t take any risk,” Lt Col Bhatt said adding the most dangerous are the hand grenades as most of them are without their pins.

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