Indian police arrest five with 1kg ‘uranium’


KARACHI/ ISLAMABAD: The Kolkata police reportedly arrested five men over possession of what they claimed was one kilogramme of Uranium, The Times of India reported.

It was further reported that the men had come to the West Bengal state in order to sell the substance, which, according to the newspaper, had a market value of INR 30 million ($440,000). The confiscated substance was sent for testing.

Police said the accused had assembled at Mango Lane at Dalhousie and identified them as Javed Miandad, a resident of Nanur in Birbhum district, SK Mughal, a resident of Sutahata in East Midnapore district, Shahjahan Mondal from Baduria in North 24 Parganas district, Younis Biswas and Basant Sinha from Behrampore district.

On the contrary, India’s Daily News and Analysis newspaper reported the police as saying that the packets did not contain uranium, rather the substance was identified as uranium resin, or even as an ion exchange resin, which are plastic microbeads “used to clean uranium”.

A former scientist, Ravi Kumar Gupta was reported as saying that there are different ‘grades of uranium usable for nuclear energy or weapons production and noted that even low grade or lower radiation uranium can be used as a toxin’.

He said uranium is not used in medicine. He said uranium is a highly controlled substance, but ion exchange resin is not. He said the latter has many industrial uses including water purification. The specific resin rumoured to be in the packets has an affinity for uranium

Meanwhile, various radioactive substances are also used for cancer treatment, but officials at Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy Institute in Islamabad say they don’t use uranium for cancer treatment.