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Uranium theft in India; a dangerous plot or criminal negligence

West Bengal, India police has arrested few persons who were trying to sell more than a kilogram of uranium for three crore rupees, Times of India has reported.  In the past also similar incidents of nuclear-material theft to the International Atomic Energy Agency were reported.

According to international-media reports India reported 25 cases of ‘missing’ or ‘stolen’ radio-active material. Fifty-two per cent of the cases were attributed to theft and 48pc to mystery.

Taiwanese authorities too intercepted a ship, carrying dual-use aluminum oxide from India to North Korea. The oxide is an essential ingredient of rocket casings and is, as such, prohibited for export to ‘rogue’ countries.

A New Jersey-based Indian engineer, Sitaraman Ravi Mahedevan was indicted in the US for illegally exporting contraband, including blueprints of solenoid operated valves for use in the construction of North Korean nuclear facilities.

A joint report by Kishore Kuchibhotla, a PhD student in biophysics at Harvard, and Matthew McKinzie, a nuclear physicist as a staff scientist with America’s nuclear programme at the Natural Resources Defence Council, made a startling revelation. Nearly 10,000 radioactive sources are used throughout India of which about 400 are particularly worrisome!

Despite theft or ‘engineered’ export of nuclear or dual use materials from India, Pakistan remains on the international scanner. Greg Miller’s report in the Washington Post alleges that a major chunk of the US black budget goes on intense surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal while India goes scot-free.

Will international monitors ever deflect their attention to the real danger that is India?

Read More: Chemical or Incendiary Weapons in Kashmir?

The news article first published in Dawn and YouTube

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