Powder recovered in UP assembly not explosive: NIA to file closure report
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is all set to formally close the probe into the alleged recovery of ‘explosives’ in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.
“We will file a closure report in the designated court this week,” said a senior NIA official on the condition of anonymity.
The NIA decided to close the case after a Hyderabad laboratory concluded that the alleged ‘explosive’ was silica powder (silicon oxide), which is mainly used as a filler in glass work.
“But that was not all. We also recorded statements of more than 70 witnesses, reviewed the video footage of close circuit cameras installed in UP assembly, and also went through the register of maintenance work taken up in the building in the last few years to see how the powder reached inside the assembly complex,” added the official.
Around 100-150 gram of white powder was recovered under the chairs designated for members of the assembly on July 12. A probe was immediately launched by the state government .
The NIA took over after a Lucknow forensic lab reported the material was explosive PETN or Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate. “We don’t know yet when the powder was left in the assembly complex as maintenance work keeps taking place in the complex round the year. It was almost impossible to find out which maintenance party left the powder,” said the official.
NIA officials believe if the Lucknow laboratory had shown some caution before concluding the powder to be PETN, the agency would have saved precious time of its investigators.