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Monday Jun 07 2021
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'EU aware of nuclear material proliferation incident in India:' Peter Stano

Lead Spokesperson for the External Affairs of the European Union, Peter Stano. 

The European Union is aware of the nuclear material proliferation incident in India, Peter Stano, the lead spokesperson for the External Affairs of the European Union has said during an interview with Geo News.

"All we can say at the moment is that the EU is aware of the information and understands that the Indian authorities are investigating," he said when asked whether nuclear proliferation could pose a serious threat to international peace and security. 

When asked whether the EU had taken notice of these incidents and raised them with India, and what are the assurances which the EU has received to stop the proliferation of nuclear materials, Stano said that at the moment, investigations are underway. 

The South Asian region, in particular, and the world, in general, is concerned about international peace and security as the current incidents in India indicate the presence of a nuclear black market there.

It should be noted that India has been able to acquire large reserves of nuclear material under the auspices of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) — a multilateral export control regime and a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation.

According to an Indian newspaper report, two persons have been arrested in India on charges of illegal possession of seven kilogrammes of natural uranium. 

This is not the first case of its kind in the country, as last week, a similar incident was reported which raises the question of Indian nuclear plants' security being compromised.

Similarly, the continuation of these events is also an indication of the presence of nuclear and radioactive substances in India. 

Indian police arrest seven suspects for attempt to sell uranium in Jharkhand

On June 4, Indian police in the state of Jharkhand arrested seven people for having "mineral uranium" in their possession and for their plans to sell it in the black market.

The Indian Express reported that the law enforcement authorities of the Indian state seized 6.4kg of what they believe is uranium from two suspects and are on the hunt for the suspect from whom they had procured the material.

“All the accused were arrested from the Bokaro district of Jharkhand and were booked under IPC Sections 414 (Whoever voluntarily assists in concealing or disposing of or making away with property which he knows or has reason to believe to be stolen property), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 34 (common intention) and under various sections of Atomic Energy Act,” reported the publication.

“Seven people were arrested for possessing and planning to sell a mineral, which is suspected to be uranium after we received a tip. We are further investigating the case and the mineral is sent to the lab to check its veracity,” Superintendent of Police Chandan Jha was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.

But the publication reported that a press release issued by the arresting police force mentioned that the mineral that was seized was uranium.

Separately, the FIR submitted to the court showed that the police had taken action after receiving a "tip" on June 2 that five people — Deepak Mahato, Pankaj Kumar, Mahabir Mahato, M Sharma, Krishna Kant — were gathering to sell uranium in the black market.

It also said that the police took action as they were informed that if they arrest the five suspects, they will be able to uncover the operation.

“Seeing police, Deepak Mahato and others, who were discussing something, started dispersing. They were caught by force after the area was cordoned. They said that they all were in touch with one Baapi Chandra, who had uranium with him, and that they had gathered in order to find prospective buyers. All smartphones from these five have been seized,” stated the FIR.