UP Assembly security breach: ATS fails to make headway
With top officials of National Investigating Agency (NIA) yet to issue any formal order on the recommendation of UP Government to take up probe into the recovery of explosive in the Assembly, an enquiry initiated by sleuths of Anti-Terrorists Squad (ATS) has failed to make any headway due to the absence of credible evidence.
"No, we have failed to find out any clue with the help of Close Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) set up inside and outside the Assembly," disclosed a senior ATD officer.
"The probe so far has made it clear that the there is no terror angle behind PETN being found under the cushion of a chair inside Assembly. It is now confirmed that either it was the mischief of some employee or even a lawmaker to create panic or some other reason and hence the material was brought inside the House," the officer further claimed.
Explaining his theory, the offcial said, "The manner in which PETN was found spread under the cushion, it cleared the air that there was no terror conspiracy. The plastic explosive was not found inside any packet but was spread on the corner of the cushion of the seat."
Sources said that after the probe agency recorded the statements of SP MLAs from Unchahar (Rae bareli) Manoj Pandey and from Kannauj Anil Kumar Dohre.
Dohre reportedly rold theinvestiagtors that he arrived in Lucknow from Kannauj on the fateful day, meting some party leaders before reachiong the House.
The MLA reportedly said that Pandey was already seated before he went to his chair. He also claimed that he did not feel any substance lying under the cushion before leaving the seat. Dohre denied having any knowledge about the substance.
Sources said that now the ATS sleuths would record statements of other MLAs from Opposition parties to check contradictions.
However, CCTV footage showed that only Pandey and Dohre had occupied that seat under which the explsoive was found. The footages do not indicate as to how and when the substance was put under the cushion.
The ATS is also waiting for detailed report of the substance from Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderbad to confirm about the Rs potency' of the PETN.
Earlier, IG of ATS Aseem Arun said that investigation was underway to trace out the person who kept by explosive but there were no concrete leads yet.
"Officials in the Assembly and employees have been already quizzed along with Assistant Marshal, Engineers, Security prsonnel with the dog squad, AC operator and class IV staff," the IG said.
The security personnel also checked 23 camera recordings, including 12 in the Assembly permises, six inside the House, two at the entry and exit gates for ruling and opposition members and three cameras of Doordarshan, which telecast the live proceedings.
During a mock drill and checking inside the Assembly premises, security personnel found several empty packets of gutka and tobacco besides a packet containing 150 grams of powder.
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