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Suspicious powder found inside Uttar Pradesh assembly was Glassy Quartz

LUCKNOW: The state government on Monday admitted that the Suspicious Powder Recovered from main hall of UP Vidhan Bhawan was not Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN), the deadly plastic explosive. The insoluble powder, which prompted Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to make an emotional plea on the floor of the house on elaborate terror conspiracy, was actually Silicon Oxide (SiO2).

Known popularly as glassy quartz, the chemical compound is used along with adhesive for bonding glass items together and is also widely used in ceramics industry. Following the TOI expose on the misleading report prepared by director of forensic laboratory, the state government also placed Dr Shyam Bihari Upadhaya under suspension on Monday.

On July 13, Mahangar laboratory based experts had stated that Suspicious Powder recovered from seat of SP MLA was PETN, leading to a countrywide uproar on possibility of terror strike inside Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

It was found that director had conducted on-spot (preliminary) test with expired explosion detection kit and dubbed the powder PETN. While the story had appeared on Saturday, the state government took two days to suspend Upadhyay as offices remained shut on account of Bakrid.

Sources revealed that on Sunday home secretary Mani Prasad Mishra was summoned to the office and prepare a report on the whole fiasco. On Monday principal secretary of home department Arvind Kumar confirmed that Upadhay had been suspended. “Director general of vigilance department Hitesh Awasthy would conduct inquiry against Upadhyay’s role in the entire matter,” said Kumar.

It was found that Upadhyay had deputed three member team to test the powder though they had no expertise at testing explosives. He also did not reveal findings of the Agra forensic report before senior officers despite being aware that suspicious powder was not explosive substance.

Meanwhile, National Investigation Agency took over the case and samples were sent to Central Forensic Laboratory in Hyderabad. CFSL Hyderabad examined the samples and stated that no traces of explosive substance were found and the powder was SiO2 (Silicon Oxide).

Besides embarrassing the government over UP assembly terror plot, Upadhyay is facing trial for submitting forged forensic reports before court of law in Patna. He served as chief of forensic department in Bihar between February 2008 and August 2010 and was indicted by Bihar Lokayukta for financial embezzlement. Charge-sheeted in two different FIRs by Patna police, in 2015 Upadhyay obtained anticipatory bail from Patna high court.

He took over as chief of forensic laboratory in UP in September 2010 and was suspended on Monday. Apart from PETN controversy, Upadhyay is also facing six other departmental inquiries.

Source : timesofindia



This post first appeared on Daily Kiran, please read the originial post: here

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