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Is India making Dirty Bomb? —Radioactive Substances worth over 800 million USD were seized in Kolkata

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Monitoring Desk: NDTV India has reported that the West Bengal Crime Investigation Department has arrested two persons for illegal possession of radioactive substances, which have an “estimated worth of ₹ 4,250 crores”.

The recovery of huge radioactive substances from India generates fears that someone within India is working for developing a Dirty Bomb. IAEA has yet not commented on this serious issue.

Indian News Channel said that acting on a tip-off from a person, who was apparently approached by the duo for the sale of the four pieces of radioactive material, CID sleuths arrested them, the officer said.

One of the four pieces seized is suspected to be Californium, which has several practical uses and costs something around ₹ 170 crore for one gram, police sources said.

The two accused have been arrested under the Atomic Energy Act and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Research indicates that many incidents of irresponsible sales of Uranium in India have been reported.

India has a long history of such incidents. Let’s take a look!

November 1994:

Meghalaya Police seized 2.5 kg of uranium from a gang of four smugglers in Domiasiat region

June 1998:

A federal politician was arrested near the West Bengal border with 100 kilograms of uranium.

July 1998:

CBI unearthed a major racket in the theft of uranium in Tamil Nadu with seizure of over 8 kg of the nuclear material

May 2000:

Mumbai Police seized 8.3 kg of uranium. https://t.co/q9GXADq2x2

August 2001:

West Bengal Police arrested 2 men with more than 200gm of semi-processed uranium

2003:

A gang was caught in a village on the Bangladesh border with 225 grams of milled uranium.

December 2006:

A container packed with radioactive material was stolen from a fortified research facility in eastern India.

February 2008:

In 2008, another criminal gang was caught attempting to smuggle #uranium, capable of being used in a primitive radiation-dispersal device, from one of #India’s state-owned mines across the border to Nepal.

The police seized 4 kg of uranium in Supaul district along the Indo-Nepal border.

December 2009:

The Navi Mumbai Crime Branch arrested three people for illegal possession of 5 kg of depleted uranium.

In 2013 guerillas in northeast #India illegally obtained #uranium ore from a government-run milling complex in northeast India and strapped it to high explosives to make a crude bomb before being caught by police.

December 2016:

Police seized almost 9 kg of depleted uranium in the Thane area of Maharashtra. India has a despicable nuclear #safety and security record. Let’s turn a leaf from India’s nuclear history. In 2016, Indian agencies seized almost 9kg of depleted #uranium in the same state of Maharashtra where 7kg of radioactive material was caught in 2021.

India – Five arrested with 1kg of Uranium worth Rs 3 crore.

On 6th May 2021, The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two men with 7-kg of natural uranium worth $2.9 million in Mumbai.

If India does not take the initiative in amending the safeguards agreement, the IAEA needs to review whether in its current form the agreement is consistent with the Agency’s obligations under its Statute. Int’l community has a shared responsibility which is to stop illicit-nuclear trafficking as such a dangerous material can be used to make a dirty bomb. India is a test case. It is a country that has seen a sharp rise in nuclear trafficking. The world must react before its too late.

Central Desk
Central News Desk.

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