Five months after radiation leak at Asia’s largest scrapyard in Mayapuri killed a person and left seven critically ill, Delhi Police have temporarily suspended investigations into the case.
They said they are yet to receive a report from the University of Delhi (DU).
A radioactive ‘gamma irradiator’, negligently auctioned from a DU laboratory, was dumped in the scrapyard, exposing the victims to the harmful rays.
A three-member panel from DU was supposed to submit a fact-finding report. Based on that report, the Delhi Police was to conduct further investigations and make arrests.
“So far, we have not received the report and have sent them several reminders. As it is a technical issue and involves a DU laboratory, we thought it was better to go ahead with the investigations once we had their internal report,” said Sharad Aggarwal, Deputy Commi-ssioner of Police (West).
DU Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental said they have to submit the report, which is in its final stages, to the executive council. “It will be ready in about ten days and we would be able to say anything only after that.”
The auction of the gamma irradiator was sanctioned by a ten-member DU panel without following the requisite guidelines.
DU had initiated a separate inquiry into the case to find out under what circumstances were the ‘gamma irradiator’ auctioned. “We have questioned all the ten members of the panel in the past and all of them have feigned ignorance about the lethal radioactive substance,” said a senior police officer.
The panel comprised eight academic and two non-academic members.
The police registered a case of death due to negligence at Mayapuri police station after a 35-year-old worker, Rajendra Yadav, died on May 10.
The presence of radioactive material was first discovered on April 9 when scrapdealer Deepak Jain was admitted to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital with symptoms of “decaying skin” and “corroded nails”.