State Editions

Suspicious packet found in UP Vidhan Sabha

| | Lucknow | in Lucknow

With Anti-Terrorists Squad (ATS), probing recovery of explosive in the State Assembly is still to make any breakthrough, the much hyped security measures taken by the administration again came to the fore when another packet containing `powder’ in the same quantity was recovered inside the Vidhan Bhawan on Friday evening. 

Though the ATS claimed it to be just `magnesium sulphate’ but sources said that the chemical was sent to Forensic Science Laboratory for confirmation. The PETN recovered in the Assembly was also dispatched to Hyderabad, to confirm about the quality of the chemical. 

On Saturday evening, a team of senior government officials including principal secretary (home), principal secretary (Vidhan Sabha security), Director General of Police, ADG (Intelligence) ADG (Security) and other senior officers also visited Assembly to chalk a full proof security plan. Sources said that the ATS team, who is investigating into the recovery of explosives from the state assembly, will go for a mock drill with other security agencies to prevent any security breach at the country’s largest assembly on Sunday. It may be mentioned that NIA yet to take probe but a team of the Central agency already joined the ATS team to make an early breakthrough.

Inspector General of Police (IG) ATS Aseem Arun said here on Saturday that investigating was underway to find out the person who kept by the explosives but they are yet to get any clue. The ATS sleuths interrogated the officials and the employees of the assembly and recorded their statements.  “A total of 15 assembly officials and employees have been questioned which includes one assistant marshal, four engineers, two security guards who were in the dog squad, one AC operator and seven fourth class employees,”the IG said.

During the day the security personnel also checked 23 camera recordings which includes 12 in the assembly permises, 6 inside the House, two at the gates of entry and exit of ruling and opposition members and three cameras of Doordarshan, who telecast the proceedings live. The security personal has been reported to have also talked to couple of Samajwadi Party MLAs under which the explosive PETN packet was found in the morning of July 12.

Several senior police officials are involved in the investigation headed by a SP rank officer Umesh Kumar Srivastava and SP Prabharar Choudhury. Arun said on the directives of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the security system in the assembly permises have been stepped up. “Tomorrow all the security agencies will go for a mock drill to assess the security of the assembly permises,” the IG said. The security agencies are giving no scope for any security relaxation due to the Presidential polls to be held on Monday at the assembly permises.

However during the checking inside the assembly the security personnel found several empty packets of gutka and tobacco besides a packet containing 150 grams of powder also suspected to some explosive was recovered. However, ADG (Law & Order)Anand Kumar said it was a packet containing magnesium sulphate, which is used as a drying agent in packing material. The ATS has taken the packet in its custody.

``An integrated security plan to ensure effective liaison with the Sachivalaya Suraksha Dal (secretariat protection force) is being worked upon. Entry through old passes has been disallowed and people with bona fide passes are only allowed

to enter the UP legislature complex,” Anand Kumar disclosed. The ADG said, “As many as 109 close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been made functional to increase the vigil. After this, necessary equipment such as boom barriers may also be installed to enhance the security.”




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