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Security drill at UP assembly exposes ‘several loopholes’

The ATS commandos, police, intelligence sleuths, bomb disposal squad, sniffer dogs, and assembly security personnel swung into action

lucknow Updated: Jul 17, 2017 00:06 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
Vidhan Bhavan,Lucknow,UP assembly
A mock drill was conducted by ATS commandos at UP Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow on Sunday.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

Several loopholes were detected in the Vidhan Bhavan security during a joint drill conducted by security and intelligence agencies here on Sunday.

After the high-potential plastic explosive powder PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) was found below the cushion of a Samajwadi Party MLA’s seat on July 12, the secretariat administration strengthened security but senior police and intelligence officers were not satisfied with the measures taken.

Additional director general of police (Lucknow zone) Abhay Kumar Prasad said the loopholes in the Vidhan Bhavan security will be plugged. There was need for better use of technology, strengthening human resource and improving security procedures, he said.

Owing to security reasons, he refused to speak about the shortcomings found during the drill.

Inspector general, Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Asim Arun said, “The drill was conducted to identify the shortcomings in the Vidhan Bhavan security. The workplan of the Vidhan Bhavan will be prepared on the basis of the outcomes of the drill.”

The drill started at 2pm after the Vidhan Bhavan security officer ‘revealed’ that two unclaimed bags, suspected to be packed with explosives, were lying on the premises. While one bag was found near the State Bank of India branch on the ground floor, the other one was located on the first floor.

The ATS commandos, police, intelligence sleuths, bomb disposal squad, sniffer dogs, and assembly security personnel swung into action. A medical team arrived in an ambulance.

The Vidhan Bhavan building was cordoned off as ATS commandos and the quick reaction team took position. The bomb disposal squad started the ‘operation’ to deactivate the ‘explosive material’. A fire tender moved into the premises

The operation continued for one-and-a-half hours with senior police officers monitoring the exercise from the control room at the Vidhan Bhavan. Some ATS commandos stuck in gallery were guided by the assembly security staff. The reaction time of the team and the shortcomings were recorded.

The ADG (Lucknow zone) said the IG, ATS, will submit a detailed report and suggestions will be included in the work plan.

First Published: Jul 17, 2017 00:06 IST