New Bollywood movie reveals inside story of India’s nuclear tests

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A new Bollywood movie about to hit the screens promises to narrate the true story behind circumstances leading to India’s testing of nuclear bomb.

Bollywood director Abhishek Sharma’s latest flick is titled ‘Permanu: The Story of Pokhran’. Starring John Abraham, the movie is based on a true story set in the remote location of Pokhran, Rajasthan.

Located deep in the Thar desert, this was a prime location for the tests. The movie narrates how there was enormous political pressure on, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to not carry out the tests and US satellite were mapping India continuously.

Nevertheless the tests went ahead and India joined the big five with regards to its nuclear arsenal.

Five explosions

Former president the late Dr KPJ Abdul Kalam served as the primary scientific advisor for the project. Titled Shakti, the project entailed five nuclear explosions, three on 11th of May 1998, and the other two on the May 13.

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai was home to bombs first before they were transported on trucks to Pokhran.

“Work was mostly done during the night, and equipment was returned to the original place to give the impression that it was never moved. Bomb shafts were dug under camouflage netting and the dug out sand was shaped like dunes, a natural sand formation in the Thar,” a report in The Quint said.

“Cables for sensors were covered with sand and concealed using native vegetation. Scientists would not depart for Pokhran in groups of two or three. They travelled to destinations other than Pokhran under pseudonyms, and were then transported by the army.”

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