PETN explosive in UP assembly: Police tied in knots on who did it?

The place where the explosive was found is a sanitised zone and only Vidhan Sabha security staff, marshals and the lawmakers are allowed to go there. Photo: PTI (File)
By: ABP News Bureau & IANS
Updated: 15 Jul 2017 04:10 PM
LUCKNOW: Even as a team of the National Investigative Agency (NIA) reached the Uttar Pradesh capital late on Friday and began its probe into the discovery of high-grade PETN inside the Vidhan Sabha, questions remain on who actually sneaked in the explosive, which if triggered could have caused major havoc.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has already termed it a terror plot to harm the assembly and the lawmakers but the police and investigative agencies so far find themselves tied in knots as to how the explosive was sneaked in through the three-tier security of the state assembly and by whom.

Even the sniffer dogs of the state police that are deployed during house sessions failed to discover the explosive, which is very lethal and has potential of causing widespread damage. The white powder packet that was found near the seat of Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chowdhary weighed 150 gm. A police officer said 500 gm of PETN was enough to bring down the entire Vidhan Sabha building.

Investigators are now poring during through CCTV footage to zero in on the person who could have planted the explosive. Thankfully, whoever did smuggle in the explosive could not also sneak in the detonator. However, explosive experts say that a cell phone was enough to "spark the powder" with dreadful consequences.

The place where the explosive was found is a sanitised zone and only Vidhan Sabha security staff, marshals and the lawmakers are allowed to go there.

PETN was used by terrorists in the explosion outside the Delhi High Court on September 7, 2011, killing 17 people and injuring 76. PETN was also used to trigger serial blasts in Varanasi last year.

Powerful explosive inside Uttar Pradesh Assembly: 10 Points

  • The explosive was found by the cleaning staff on July 12. The dog squad also failed to detect it.

  • After the powder was sent for FSL examination, it was found to be a dangerous plastic explosive PETN (Pentaerythritol tetranitrate).

  • The quantity of the explosive was 150 grams. According to experts 500 gm of this explosive is enough to blow up the House.

  • The explosive was found under the bench, third from where the Leader of Opposition sits.

  • "The security of the House is our concern. This is part of a dangerous terrorist conspiracy and should be exposed. The state government wants to get an NIA probe done in the matter and police verification of employees and officials working in Vidhan Bhawan," Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told the House and urged the Speaker to take a decision.

  • The chief minister also said, "As no one is allowed inside the House except legislators and marshals, the matter becomes serious. The matter is related with sentiments of 22 crore people of the state. As we have no objections in checking at airports, we (legislators) should also support this here. I also ask them not to bring mobile phones and keep their bags outside the House and a system should be evolved for this."

  • The driver of legislators will be verified and those having no pass will not be allowed entry inside assembly premises, the speaker said.

  • Passes issued to former MLAs and others will also be cancelled and police verification of assembly staff will be done, he said.

  • The House passed a resolution recommending an NIA probe into it. Lucknow police has filed sedition case against unknown people.

  • The two theories derived by the experts presence of explosive material inside Assembly are: Either any legislature has placed it in Assembly to ask for security or any sleeper cell has put it as a part of a conspiracy.