RDX seizures small but deadly threat of explosive material remains high

Whether it was 50-60 kg of RDX (cyclotrimethylenet-rinitramine, its chemical name) that took the lives of at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in Pulwama on February 14 or 350 kg still remains unclear, but what we know is that the explosive compound is available across India and in the past, government agencies have intercepted its movement and arrested those who were caught transporting it.


The data shows which agency intercepted how much RDX in 2016. By itself, the chemical is considered relatively safe, until used as part of an improvised explosive device (IED), many of which have also been intercepted by security agencies.


The IED works on the basis of a remotely held switch, which makes it lethal for the people who are its targets but completely safe for those planting it. This is why switching devices are also routinely seized by security agencies.


The numbers in the data (of the material which was prevented from doing damage) may appear small, but they show only part of the threat. There have been many cases where security agencies have been unable to defuse bombs in time – and have paid with their lives.

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