Material seized in Bokaro neither uranium nor radioactive: MEA
Days after Bokaro police in Jharkhand arrested seven people for “possession and intent to sell mineral uranium,” the Foreign Ministry said “the material seized was neither uranium nor radioactive. “. The MEA statement was in response to remarks by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry regarding an investigation into a “nuclear material seizure” after reports emerged from Bokaro on “uranium material”.
The Indian Express reported last week that Bokaro police seized 6.4 kg of “uranium ore” from two of the accused and arrested a total of seven people. The defendants were jailed under sections 414 of the IPC (Anyone who willfully assists in concealing, disposing of or removing property that he or she knows or has reason to believe to be stolen property), 120B (criminal association ), 34 (common intention) and under various sections of the Atomic Energy Act.
However, regarding the seizure of “the suspected uranium mineral,” the MEA spokesperson said: “The Indian government’s Department of Atomic Energy, after an assessment and laboratory analysis of the sample of material, said the material seized last week was not uranium and radioactive. “
When asked how the police arrested seven people and also issued a press release indicating the seizure of mineral uranium, Jharkhand police spokesman Amol Homkar said: “More details are expected.
Our response to a media question on Pakistan’s official comments in response to the media report on the seizure of suspicious material (uranium) in Bokaro last week: https://t.co/IOhWbA7QOx pic.twitter.com/Y3jnpyOdyi
– Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) June 10, 2021
Calls to Bokaro’s police superintendent, Chandan Jha, did not elicit a response.
However, after the initial arrests, Jha said, “Seven people were arrested on the basis of their confessions of possession of mineral uranium. Jha declined to say whether any other investigative body was involved, nor did he indicate whether he had requested an in-custody interrogation of the arrested accused.
The Indian Express had obtained court records, where Bokaro police maintained that after receiving a “tip” on June 2, five people: Deepak Mahato, Pankaj Kumar, Mahabir Mahato, M Sharma, Krishna Kant had met. “Reunited” and planned to “illegally sell banned mineral uranium on the black market”.
Police were told that “if they catch the five people, the ore will be recovered and the operation may come to light,” according to records. The police then arrested two other accused and 6.4 kg of “mineral uranium” in the possession of the only accused. The head of the Harla police station, Govind Prasad Gupta, told The Indian Express at the time: “All seven were arrested on the morning of June 3. We have not yet arrested Munna from whom Anil and Baapi obtained the uranium.