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Explosive Powder Found in UP Vidhan Sabha, CM Yogi Adityanath Demands NIA Probe

Around 60 grams of the deadly compound was detected near Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary’s seat by the dog squad during a security sweep on Wednesday

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:July 14, 2017, 1:00 PM IST
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Lucknow: The suspicious white power found in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on July 12 was identified as Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, a highly explosive organic compound.

Around 60 grams of the deadly compound was detected near Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary’s seat by the dog squad during a security sweep on Wednesday, following which a forensic investigation was launched.

Speaking in the Assembly on Friday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called for an NIA investigation. “The National Investigation Agency (NIA) should investigate the matter. A response team to act on such threats should also be immediately put in place. It should have been done a long time ago,” the CM said.

He also appealed to lawmakers to not bring mobile phones inside the House.

“The Uttar Pradesh chief minister has called for a high-level meeting. Security is an important issue…. There is no need to panic,” UP minister Siddharth Nath Singh said.

The Samajwadi Party has demanded an “immediate inquiry”. “It should be checked how the explosive powder reached the Assembly. If the Vidhan Sabha is not safe, then you can imagine the safety situation of the rest of Uttar Pradesh,” said SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, too, raised questions on the security situation. “I have never seen a government fail so soon. If explosives can be found under (sic) the Leader of Opposition’s seat, image the condition of rest of UP.”

Police have arrested a man named Farhan Ahmad from Devariya who had, in a phone call to ADG of Lucknow Zone, allegedly threatened to blow up the Assembly on August 15.

Pentaerythritol tetranitrate or PETN can easily dodge metal detectors and its colourless crystals are hard to detect in sealed containers. It is a powerful explosive, 100 gram of which is enough to blow up a car to pieces, say experts.

It also acts as a major ingredient in Semtex bombs and belongs to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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