Suspecting a deep-rooted terrorist conspiracy, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed concern over the discovery of an explosive substance inside Vidhan Sabha.
Speaking in the House today, Yogi said the detection of the powder was a grave matter and it was imperative to reach the root cause as soon as possible. He urged the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) to further conduct a probe.
During a routine checkup of the Vidhan Sabha, the security
staff reportedly found about 150 gm of powder lying under the seat of Samajwadi Party legislator and former minister Manoj Pandey on Wednesday (July 12).
Later, the matter was referred to senior security
officials and the powder was sent to a forensics lab. Reports confirmed that the powder found was Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN), which is a highly explosive substance. PETN
is an odourless powder which passes undetected through metal detectors.
Seeking cooperation from all the members, Adityanath said the entire Vidhan Sabha staff would now be subjected to police verification.
He said the powder was enough to blow up
an entire building and the government would ensure that the elements behind the alleged conspiracy were exposed.
Meanwhile, the security
of Vidhan Sabha
has been beefed up
since the UP
Budget session is underway. All the previously issued entry passes have either been cancelled or are being re-verified to bar unauthorised entry.
Yogi also chaired a high-level security
meeting in the wake of the discovery of PETN.
In a related incident, UP
Police arrested a youth, identified as Farhan, in Deoria district for allegedly threatening a top cop posted in Lucknow and warning to blow up
the UP Vidhan Sabha
precincts on Independence Day.
With the discovery of PETN
in the state assembly, he is being interrogated by the cops to ascertain if he is related to the incident.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties have slammed the Yogi government over the poor law and order in the state. They claimed that even the high security
zones - like the Vidhan Sabha
- were vulnerable to security
Over the past few weeks, criminal incidents
such as murders, armed robberies and burglaries, road holdups etc, have witnessed a sudden spurt across the state, including Lucknow. This has cast a shadow on the claims made by the government about the improving law and order situation and intensifying policing.