Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

What is PETN? A unsafe plastic explosive found in UP Assembly

What is PETN? A unsafe plastic explosive found in UP Assembly

Expressing disappointment over the issue of a suspicious white powder packet found in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, the opposition Samajwadi Party said Saturday that the security set-up is somewhere lacking and needs to be looked into.

A unsafe plastic explosive was found in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly triggering a major security alert and prompting a complete overhaul of the security system in the Vidhan Bhavan. He also held meetings with senior police officers and directed them to review the security in the Assembly. He also said that the explosive material found at the spot hinted at the possibility of a terrorist activity in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The officials of the ATS questioned and recorded the statements of 15 people who were present or on duty in the premises of the Assembly at the time of recovery of PETN on July 12, ATS Inspector General (IG) Aseem Arun said. It's unfortunate that the largest Assembly of the country doesn't have a QRT.

PETN is one of the most unsafe plastic explosives available in the black market and is preferred by militants as the colourless crystals easily get past security checks. "We'll scan through CCTV footage".

Adityanath said anyone could enter the Assembly and referred to his first visit to the House after he became the chief minister. He also checked all gates and gave necessary instructions for stepping up security. The squad found a blue carry bag under the seat cushion at the right end of the third row. "150 gram of PETN was found in the premises of the assembly and 500 gram is enough to destroy the entire structure", he said. Majority of explosive detectors use metal detectors, but PETN can be kept hidden in a sealed container or an electrical equipment and thus can easily surpass security checks. Ahmed, 20, had allegedly told the ADG (Law and Order) on his mobile phone that he would blow the UP legislature building on the Independence Day. It was sent to the State Forensic Science Laboratory for testing. PETN can be mixed with other chemicals to form Semtex. PETN was also used to trigger serial blasts in Varanasi previous year.

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