Police team at the Vidhan Bhavan in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, after explosives were recovered on the premises.(HT)
Police team at the Vidhan Bhavan in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, after explosives were recovered on the premises.(HT)

PETN explosives found in UP assembly, CM Yogi bans mobile phones on premises

The explosive powder -- Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) – was kept in a plastic bag near the seat of the leader of the opposition
By Rajesh Kumar Singh | New Delhi, Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2017 01:39 PM IST

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath called for a federal investigation on Friday into explosives found inside the state assembly two days ago and ordered tightening of security arrangements.

The explosive powder -- Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) – was kept in a plastic bag near the seat of the leader of the opposition, Ram Govind Chaudhary and was found during routine checks by assembly staff. The powder – 150 grams in quantity – was sent to forensic science laboratory for testing whose results came on Thursday.

“500 grams of the substance (PETN) is enough to blow up entire Vidhan Sabha, and this was 150 grams… this can be called nothing less than a direct infiltration and now the NIA (National Investigation Agency) must probe it immediately,” Adityanath told the lower house of the state legislature.

“Despite being the biggest Vidhan sabha in the country, there was not enough security and whatever three-tier security system the establishment has no coordination.”

Read more | What is PETN, the explosive that was found in the Uttar Pradesh assembly?

New security measures

The chief minister also announced new security measures that will cover all MLAs and their staff with no relaxation:

* MLAs will be not permitted to enter the assembly with mobile phones or bags.

* A quick-reaction team will be deployed around the secretariat premises.

* The secretariat pass issued by the secretariat administration will be reviewed.

* Personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary will be deployed for the security of the assembly and secretariat.

* Body and bag scanners will be installed in the Vidhan Bhawan

The chief minister also met police and legislative staff in the presence of the speaker, Hirday Narayan Dikshit, to review the security of the assembly. Security agencies and the state’s Anti-Terrorist Squad have started a probe into the episode.

Police have arrested a man identified as Farhan Ahmed in the Rampur Karhana area of Deoria, who had allegedly called the additional director general of Lucknow and threatened to blow up the Vidhan Bhawan on August 15.

What is PETN?

Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), also known as PENT, PENTA, TEN, corpent, penthrite, is one of the most powerful explosive materials known, with a relative effectiveness (RE) factor of 1.66 (RE is a measurement of an explosive’s power). It is one of the most powerful explosives, colourless and hard to detect in a sealed container.

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