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UP govt rubbishes reports of suspicious powder not being PETN

By Ians English

Lucknow, July 18: Rubbishing the reports that the white powder found in the state Assembly was not PETN, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday said preliminary test conducted at Forensic Science Laboratory in Lucknow was positive for Pentaerythritol tetranitrate or PETN.

Uttar Pradesh Assembly

"It is to clarify that no sample has been sent to Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Agra, of the substance as they do not have the machines and wherewithal to conduct the requisite tests," Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said.

The factual position was that State FSL Lucknow in its report dated July 14, has found the substance as "water insoluble and that different reagents confirm the presence of a nitrate", Kumar added.

Kumar also pointed out that the preliminary test conducted using explosive detection kit was positive for Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN).

Two confirmatory tests were currently being conducted at SFSL Lucknow -- Infrared Spectrum and Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

The results of which were still awaited.

In a major security breach, a white powder substance was discovered from inside the Vidhan Sabha premises on July 13 evening, triggering a scare and inviting sharp criticism from the opposition over security.

The substance was recovered from near the Leader of Opposition's seat.

The National Investigative Agency (NIA) on July 15, began a probe into the incident.

[Explosive found in UP Assembly: What is PETN?]

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on Friday confirmed that the suspicious white found in the state assembly was Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate or PETN, one of the most dangerous plastic explosives. CM Adityanath had then called for an NIA investigation into the matter.


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