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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan noted with serious concern yet another report of theft and illicit sale of radioactive material in India. In response to media queries regarding another report of theft and illegal possession of radioactive material in India, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said that in the latest incident, as per media reports, two persons were arrested for illegal possession of Californium, which is a highly radioactive and toxic substance.

"It is a matter of grave concern for the international community that an extremely rare Sealed Radioactive Source (SRS) material like Californium could be stolen," he said.

As in the previous cases, he added that the arrested individuals apparently got hold of the radioactive material by purchasing it from inside India. This is the third such occurrence in India in the last four months.

Earlier, media reports had highlighted separate seizures in May and June 2021 of over 7 kg and more than 6 kg of Uranium from unauthorised persons in India.

"These repeated incidents raise serious concerns about the safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive materials in India, and the possible existence of a black market for such materials inside the country. It also indicates the lax arrangements inside India to secure imported SRS material. Pakistan reiterates its call for a thorough investigation and adequate measures to prevent their recurrence," the spokesperson added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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