Gokhale alleged that the company was given defence contracts not just by the Central government but also by Maharashtra’s BJP-led Devendra Fadnavis government
NEW DELHI — RTI activist Saket Gokhale on Wednesday revealed that the Narendra Modi government gave defence contracts to a Nagpur-based firm whose explosives were found to be used by terror outfit ISIS.
In a series of tweets, Gokhale alleged that the Defence Ministry gave several defence contracts to explosive maker Solar Industries despite a European Union report finding that the company’s explosives were used by the IS.
On October 1, the Defence Ministry signed a contract worth Rs 409 crores with the Economic Explosive Ltd (EEL) to supply 10,00,000 Multi-Mode Hand Grenades to the Indian Army. EEL is a subsidiary of Nagpur-based Solar Industries, “an explosive maker with nothing to do with solar energy”, said Gokhale adding the press statement released by the government about the contract.
It is a matter of immense shock and concern that a company with a documented link to terror group ISIS is being given access to crucial Indian defense tech & lucrative govt. defense contracts.
Why is Modi govt compromising our Armed Forces instead of probing this company?
— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) October 14, 2020
In January of 2018, the Ministry gave “a technology transfer to produce propellant booster for the BrahMos missile” to the Solar Industries at Chennai. And in August this year, the firm cleared DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organistion) trials to “get the technology & make Pinaka artillery rockets for the Indian Army”.
Gokhale alleged that the company was given defence contracts not just by the Central government but also by Maharashtra’s BJP-led Devendra Fadnavis government which in 2016 had signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Solar Industries to set up a plant worth Rs 1,550 crores in Nagpur for manufacturing ammunition for the Indian Army.
Gokhale cited a report prepared by the European Union on “Tracing the Supply of Components Used in Islamic States IEDs” to underline the murky record of Solar Industries.
“During the siege of Kobane in Syria, Kurdish YPG forces found Indian detonators made by Solar Industries/EEL were being used by ISIS to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These detonators had been exported to the ISIS through shell companies in Turkey and Lebanon which no longer exist,” he alleged.
Gokhale asked why, despite the EU-funded report, the then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not order a probe into this. “Why did Solar Industries continued get crucial defence contracts? Are BJP/RSS leaders close to the company’s management?”
“It is a matter of immense shock and concern that a company with a documented link to terror group ISIS is being given access to crucial Indian defence tech & lucrative govt. defence contracts. Why is Modi govt compromising our Armed Forces instead of probing this company?” asked Gokhale.