Lucknow, July 14 (IANS) Hours after a “suspicious explosive substance” was discovered inside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, triggering a scare and inviting sharp criticism from the opposition, Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath on Friday admitted that it was a breach of security and sought all members’ cooperation in ensuring safety.
Making a statement on the issue in the house, he said that the discovery of a dangerous, highly explosive material inside the state assembly was a matter of great concern and this type of security breach cannot be allowed to take place.
Terming the incident as very serious, Adityanath said even the sniffer dogs had not been able to discover it.
Security officials in the assembly were thrown into a tizzy as 60 grams of a white powder like substance found near the seat of the Leader of the Opposition on Thursday was identified as high grade explosive PETN. However, no detonator was was found.
Leaders across party lines condemned the incident and raised questions on the security of the Vidhan Sabha and the lawmakers.
Samajwadi Party legislator and former Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan called this a serious matter, while sarcastically saying that he had not smuggled the explosive inside.
Security was stepped up after the incident and all existing passes of cars used by lawmakers have been cancelled. Fresh passes would soon be issued for all cars and even drivers.
A total overhaul of the security system is also being done and the loopholes are being looked into, an official told IANS.
Following the tightened measures, SP’s two-time legislator Yaseer Shah was turned away from the gate by security personnel as he did not a valid pass for entry. SP lawmakers raised this matter in the house.
Calling for stepping up vigil and security in the Vidhan Sabha and its campus, the Chief Minister also pointed out that there was no quick response team in place for any contingency and while a three layer security system is in place, there is no coordination.
He also said that the matter was related to the sentiments of 22 crore people of Uttar Pradesh and hence the matter needed to be investigated by the National Investigation Agency so that the conspiracy can be unearthed.
Security was not a matter only concerning the government but that it was a responsibility of all, he said, calling for cooperation of everyone.
He also regretted how in Vidhan Sabha where people’s problems should be discussed, deliberations are being held on its own security.
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