Even as a team of the National Investigative Agency (NIA) reached the Uttar Pradesh capital late on Friday and began its probe into the discovery of high-grade PETN inside the Vidhan Sabha, questions remain on who actually sneaked in the explosive, which if triggered could have caused major havoc.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has already termed it a terror plot to harm the assembly and the lawmakers but the police and investigative agencies so far find themselves tied in knots as to how the explosive was sneaked in through the three-tier security of the state assembly and by whom.
Even the sniffer dogs of the state police that are deployed during house sessions failed to discover the explosive, which is very lethal and has the potential of causing widespread damage. The white powder packet that was found near the seat of Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chowdhary weighed 150 gm. A police officer said 500 gm of PETN was enough to bring down the entire Vidhan Sabha building.
Investigators are now poring during through CCTV footage to zero in on the person who could have planted the explosive. Thankfully, whoever did smuggle in the explosive could not also sneak in the detonator. However, explosive experts say that a cell phone was enough to “spark the powder” with dreadful consequences.
The place where the explosive was found is a sanitised zone and only Vidhan Sabha security staff, marshals and the lawmakers are allowed to go there.
PETN was used by terrorists in the explosion outside the Delhi High Court on September 7, 2011, killing 17 people and injuring 76. PETN was also used to trigger serial blasts in Varanasi last year.