Defence Ministry gets NHRC notice over security risk to Jabalpur

BHOPAL (TIP): The NHRC has issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Defence over security risk to the city of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

The notice was issued after taking suo motu cognizance of a media report that the spontaneous combustion of thousands of unexploded and rejected bombs, which are buried and awaiting disposal at the Ordinance Factory, Khamaria has posed risk to the city.

The factory is located in a densely populated area. “Giving two weeks’ time to the Defence Secretary to respond with a factual report, Justice D Murugesan has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of right to life and right to health of the workers and local residents,” National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said in a press release.

According to the media report, carried on the 14th December, 2015, Jabalpur city also happens to be quake prone and the danger can be huge given reports of sporadic explosions in the premises in the last few years. The latest was on the 11th December, 2015 when two employees were injured. Besides, explosives from 1999 Kargil War, a stockpile of unexploded and rejected bombs are also awaiting disposal at the Ordinance Factory, it said. While referring to the variety of mortars, shells and explosives stored, the report also mentions that the detonators have corroded to the point where it is dangerous to defuse them and there was a risk of spontaneous combustion due to rapid deterioration of the duds.

The report also quotes a member of Joint Consultation Machinery at Khamaria, under the Union Ministry of Defence, that the issue was taken up with authorities several times, but nobody was willing to take the risk, it said.

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