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Another suspicious packet of powder found inside UP assembly

The recovery of the second packet comes two days after a 150gm packet of explosive PETN powder was found near the seat of the leader of opposition in the assembly.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2017 14:58 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath‬,‪Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly‬,‪Pentaerythritol tetranitrate‬
An NIA team outside the Uttar Pradesh assembly in Lucknow on Friday after PETN explosives were found on the premises. (PTI)

Security agencies have found a packet of suspicious powder inside the Uttar Pradesh assembly two days after discovering plastic explosives inside the premises, an incident that sent shockwaves through the political establishment.

Sources said, on Friday evening, security personnel found a sealed packet containing some powder weighing about 50 grams during a check. This came after 150 grams of the high-potential explosive Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) powder was found near the seat of the leader of opposition on July 12.

The sealed packet was handed over to the city police for further examination. The state Anti Terror Squad (ATS) and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Aseem Arun confirmed the recovery and added that primary inquiry suggested the packet contained magnesium sulphate and would be sent for the forensic examination.

He said the magnesium sulphate is used as drying agent for packing material.

Arun said pan masala and other eatables packets are usually thrown inside the premises and that anti-mine, anti-sabotage and bomb disposal squads were sanitising every corner of the Vidhan Bhawan premises.

On July 12, the recovery of PETN powder weighing around 150 grams below the chair’s cushion in the arena where legislators sit during the assembly session triggered panic. Sleuths initially believed the PETN was simple powder and sent it for forensic examination at State Forensic Science Laboratory in Mahanagar, Lucknow.

The alert was sounded after the forensic experts confirmed it as high-potential explosive on Friday. A PETN sample however is also been sent to explosive unit of Agra forensic science laboratory for check its purity level. An FIR against unidentified persons was also lodged with Hazratganj police station on Friday after the recovery of explosive powder.

The PETN recovery has prompted chief minister Yogi Adityanath to tighten security and call for a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe.

Police think the explosives were transported into UP from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh or some other state where it is often used for mining. They are also questioning a Muslim youth from Deoria who threatened to blow up the assembly on Independence Day.

First Published: Jul 15, 2017 14:58 IST