Parcel ‘bomb’ against Kanhaiya reaches FTII

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Pune, May 7, 2016 : A parcel containing detonator and explosive powder with a letter threatening JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar was received at FTII on Saturday.

The institute director was warned not to allow him entry. Kanhaiya had addressed a gathering at Bal Gandharv auditorium on April 24. However Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students didn’t go there as the whole drama surrounding his visit to Pune was hijacked by Nationalist Congress Party and Congress. Earlier FTII students had supported Kanhaiya to visit Pune.

Incidentally the parcel was addressed to Prashant Pathrabe, the former director of FTII, who has been replaced by Bhupendra Kainthola two weeks back.

When contacted, Kainthola said, “The parcel arrived around 5 pm today. As it was suspicious we informed the police.”

Joint Commissioner of Pune police Sunil Ramanand said, “The parcel is similar to those earlier sent to office bearers of Sambhaji Brigade. A team from the bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) checked the contents of the parcel which contained a small detonator and white powder suspected to be some explosives powder. It has been sent to forensic lab for further analysis. We are registering a case against unknown persons with local Deccan Gymkhana police station.”

Last year a packet containing gelatin and a detonator and some paper cuttings was received at office-bearer of radical and extremist organisation Sambhaji Brigade, known for its anti-Brahmin agenda. Before that similar parcel was sent to their office in Narayan Peth.

The parcel in July last year was sent to Chavan group of companies office located on the first floor of Arora Towers in Pune camp. The office belongs to Sambhaji Brigade member Satish Chavan.

As he was out of city, he could not check the parcel which had arrived few days back. He opened it few days later found the explosive, detonator and paper cuttings.

Investigation into the case has hit a dead end as Pune police could not trace the place from where it was sent or the accused who sent them.  “We checked with the postal department and they said that it could be sent from Tilak Road area but the there is no CCTV camera to check who put the letter in the box. We had also checked with postal department offices in other districts but nothing came out of it,” an officer said.

Police said the gelatin and detonators are easily available to licencees. In fact, a major loophole in the system is that no checks are conducted on the quantities of these explosives utilised for rock blasting, well digging, in stone quarries or for mining.

The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), headquartered in Nagpur, is the nodal agency for regulating safety of hazardous substances such as explosives, compressed gases and petroleum. It has a circle office in Mumbai and subcircle office in Wardha.

The agency does not have physical monitoring units at the district level, which gives scope for spillage at various levels in the chain from manufacturer to end user.

FTII Students Association is aghast at the events that transpired today evening at the FTII campus. A hand delivered bomb reaches the hands of the Director, FTII strictly warning him of inviting Kanhaiya Kumar. The students throughout the strike received numerous threat letters personally addressed, but now the price of questioning the Govt has reached to a stage where you receive an explosive substance. It only speaks of the intolerant, insensitive and criminal attitude of people who are doing everything to stop dissent across the country. We strongly condemn this cowardly act and appeal to the Govt to immediately enquire into this issue.

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