Issue Brief on “The Myth of India’s Impeccable Non-Proliferation Record”

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On May 6, 2021, the Indian authorities seized 7.1 kg of uranium from two Indian citizens, Jigar Jayesh Pandya and Abu Tahir Afzal Husain Choudhary, a scrap dealer, in Mumbai. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, pointed out that uranium was highly radioactive and dangerous to human life. This raises several issues and concerns. It raises the question of whether this was an isolated incident or one in a string of such incidents over the years. Examining the record of the last few decades it becomes apparent that this is not an isolated incident. There are dozens of such incidents spanned over the last 3-4 decades. It debunks the myth of India’s impeccable non-proliferation record. It puts a huge question mark over India’s nuclear safety and security record. What does it mean for India, the international non-proliferation efforts and for neighbouring countries like Pakistan which could become the target of terrorist activities in the form of crude nuclear bombs also known as dirty bombs.

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