IED inactivation process to begin this week

Kathmandu, July 5:

An ‘armour group’ of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) will begin the process of neutralising Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) collected from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) this week.

A team of the PLA will defuse the IEDs. A mine action team of the UNMIN is imparting training to the PLA team to do the job. “The first part of the training has been completed and the second one will be completed soon so that the PLA team can begin defusing the first-category IEDs,” said Nanda Kishor Pun, the PLA deputy commander.

The Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) organised a three-hour-long discussion in this regard yesterday. About 50,000 items in total, the explosives have been put into two categories — home-made dangerous and sensitive IEDs and factory-made mines.

The PLA team will first destroy the sensitive IEDs, which comprise about 75 per cent of the total explosives collected. A source at the JMCC said the “armour group” comprises two British experts, who will be “supervising and monitoring” the process of destruction of explosives.

As the explosives falling under the second category are less dangerous, they will be either neutralised later or “kept for future use.” Asked from which division the neutralisation process will begin, Pun said, “Chulachuli cantonment was in the priority, but the UNMIN’s mine action team will decide the matter.” He said the second stage of verification has been stalled because there is a need to make an “analysis at the political level” for proceeding further. Asked to comment on reports that said over 800 Maoists have been rejected in Chulachuli, Pun said the number cannot be verified now. A diplomatic source in Kathmandu told this daily that about 400 of the Maoist combatants did not show up for the verification, and other 400 did not meet the UN criteria as combatants.