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Govt awards defence contract to firm alleged with IS weaponry links, activist says

Govt awards defence contract to firm alleged with IS weaponry links, activist says

An army jawan on guard at Ladakh, Image credit: PTI

New Delhi: Saket Gokhale, a Mumbai based RTI activist has alleged that the Ministry of Defence has awarded contracts to a firm alleged with links to the Islamic State (IS), a banned terrorist organisation.

Citing the Ministry of Defence website, the activist in a series of tweets said, Modi government signed a contract worth Rs. 409 crores with Economic Explosive Ltd (EEL) to supply Multi Mode Hand Grenades to the Indian Army. The EEL is a subsidiary firm of Nagpur-based Solar Industries.

Solar Industries is one of the seven firms flagged in Conflict Armament Research (CAR) commissioned by European Union in 2016 February. The report was prepared by studying the explosives left behind by the terror group after operations against them in Iraq & Syria.

The report was focused on Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) used by ISIS.

The report reads "Solar Industries, India, produced one spool of detonating cord on 27 February 2014 and exported it to the Turkish company iLCi, Ankara. Two months earlier, on 31 December 2012, the Gulf Oil Corporation, India, had produced a spool and exported it to the Turkish company Nitromak Dyno Nobel, Ankara. Solar Industries, India, produced a further two spools, on 21 and 23 October 2012, and exported them (on an unspecified date) to the Lebanese company Maybel, headquartered in Beirut,"

"CAR also documented the use of Solar Industries detonating cord by IS forces on the Makhmour front line in Iraq at the end of 2014. There is no evidence to indicate to which regional entity Solar Industries supplied the cord," the report continues.

"Seven Indian companies manufactured most of the detonators, detonating cord, and safety fuses documented by CAR's field investigation teams. Under Indian law, transfer of this material requires a licence. All components documented by CAR were legally exported under government-issued licences from India to entities in Lebanon and Turkey," the report had said.

In January 2018, Solar Industries was awarded the contract for mass production of solid propellant booster of Brahmos. Recently, In August 2020, the company also cleared DRDO trials to get the technology and made Pinaka artillery rockets for the Indian army.

In 2016, Solar Industries signed an MoU with Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra worth a whopping Rs. 1550 crores to manufacture ammunition for the Indian Army.

Saket Gokhale alleged that the Solar Industries is the Modi's govt's "go-to company for major defense contracts & tech transfer."

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TAGS:defense Solar Industries Indian Army Modi 
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