Highly explosive PETN found in Uttar Pradesh Assembly: Yogi Adityanath demands NIA probe

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has called for a high-level meeting after a major accident was averted in the state Assembly on Wednesday. In what could have been a major security threat, a packet of explosives was discovered from the Assembly premises on 12 July, which were later confirmed to be a powerful explosive Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), India Today reported.

ANI reported that security officials were seen reviewing the Assembly complex after Wednesday's incident.

On Friday, the chief minister informed the House soon after the proceedings started that a white powder was found wrapped in a paper close to the seat of the Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Choudhry. The explosive was found by the cleaning staff.

After the powder was sent for FSL examination, it was found to be a dangerous plastic explosive PETN (Pentaerythritol tetranitrate), he said. The dog squad failed to detect the explosive. Terming it as a conspiracy, he said the NIA should probe the matter.

Stressing that there should be no compromise on security, the chief minister said joint efforts were needed to ensure this.

It is a "dangerous tendency that the security of the assembly has been breached when the House is in session," he said.

"So far the government was worried about security outside the assembly now this has become a more serious matter," he said.

He appealed to Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit to ensure police verification of the assembly staff because security of over 500 MLAs and MLCs was at stake.

However, the Opposition was quick to take the opportunity to criticise the government. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he has never seen a government fail so soon after coming to power, adding that the state's law and order ituation was clearly in shambles.

Improved law and order situation and end of the so called 'goonda raj' was one of the key poll planks used by the BJP ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

The discovery of explosives at the heart of the state's capital, in a high security comes at a time when Uttar Pradesh is on high alert in view of the Kanwar Yatra.

According to Times Now Adityanath has taken the matter seriously, and has called the meeting to review security arrangements in the state. The explosive used in the packet is one of the most powerful explosives and is very difficult to detect. Unlike the commonly used explosives like, RDX or locally developed explosives using fertilizers, PETN, is a major ingredient of Semtex and belongs to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin.

A report in The Guardianstates that PETN has increasingly become the explosive of choice for terrorist organisations across the world "because its colourless crystals are hard to detect in a sealed container."

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, the Uttar Pradesh police had on Wednesday arrested a student in Deoria, on Thursday, after he threatened to plant a bomb in the state Assembly complex on 15 August. The arrested student has reportedly confessed to issuing the threat and the local police is investigating the matter further.

With inputs from PTI


Published Date: Jul 14, 2017 12:01 pm | Updated Date: Jul 14, 2017 12:23 pm


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