UP Govt Denies Agra Lab Claim About White Powder Found in Assembly

The lab in Agra has claimed that no traces of PETN were found in the substance recovered from the UP Assembly.

1 min read
A policeman checking the entry pass of a visitor outside Uttar Pradesh Assembly after PETN explosive were found, in Lucknow.  

A week after some 150 gm of mysterious white powder was found inside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, which Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed was be an explosive called pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), senior officials at the Agra forensic laboratory told Times of India that the substance has no traces of PETN.

According to the report, the test results has been sent to Lucknow and National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The UP government clarified on 18 July that no samples were sent for testing to Forensic Science Laboratory in Agra.

Principal Secretary of UP Home Department, in a statement said that, “no sample has been sent to FSL Agra as they do not have the machines/wherewithal to conduct the requisite tests.”

The factual position is that SFSL Lucknow in its report dated 14.7.2017 has found the substance as 1-water insoluble, 2-that different reagents confirm the presence of a nitrate, and 3-that the preliminary test conducted using explosive detection kit is positive for PETN.

The TOI report had further quoted sources as saying that a four-member committee headed by deputy director AK Mittal, examined the samples sent from Lucknow.

An official told TOI:

Agra has the best expertise to examine explosive material…Even the NIA contacted us to cross-verify the results…The substance found on 12 July in the state assembly was not PETN.

The sources also TOI that a sample of a second substance, found on 15 July, is also being checked by the lab though police officials have said it was magnesium sulphate “used in cosmetics or medicines, such as for people with arthritis”.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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