Thiruvananthapuram: No guns are missing from the Special Armed Police (SAP) camp at Peroorkada, a team led by Crime Branch chief Tomin Thachankary confirmed after carrying out checks on Monday, disputing the contention of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report.
Out of the 660 INSAS rifles that were procured by SAP, 647 were on display here at the camp. The remaining 13 are with the officers of AR battalion stationed in Manipur, the police informed. The 416 rifles, which were with various battalions, were deposited at Peroorkada camp on Monday for the inspection.
It was Crime Branch who verified that 13 rifles were with the officers stationed in Manipur. This information was not known even to the Accountant General, the Crime Branch investigation revealed.
A section of the SAP battalion had asked that CAG officers too be questioned on how they came to the conclusion that the guns were missing. However, police has informed that this was not practical.
According to sources, the audit team that had come to the headquarters to check the 2018-19 records were allegedly sent back by the police. It is however the inaccuracies in the 2017-18 records that is reason for the controversy.
Earlier, a CAG report had stated that 25 INSAS rifles and over 12,000 live cartridges had gone missing at Peroorkada.
While admitting that several bullets were missing, the police dismissed any malice behind the incident. This a regular occurrence, not just at Peroorkada, police said.
An initial report put together has 13 civil police officers listed as suspects. An investigation is underway and a more detailed report will be submitted in two months and strict action will be taken against all behind the lapse, police said.
However, a plea submitted in Kerala High Court on Monday questioned the efficiency of the police to conduct the investigation on the matter of the missing bullets.
The police will be trying to protect their officers and no real investigation will be carried out, the plea contested. It asked for the case to be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The stock register which accounts for all the bullet details should be handed over to the High Court, the plea asked.
The High Court will hear the plea Monday afternoon.
Even in CAG storm, funds to DGP swells to 5 crores
The CAG report had also flagged the irregularities in the utilisation of the modernisation funds alloted to the Director-General of Police (DGP) Lokanath Behera, in particular the purchase of two bulletproof cars for VIPs.
The report indicate that no tenders were floated before the purchase of the vehicles from Hindustan Motors. Police have, however, dismissed this accusation citing the security risks associated with such an activity.
Even as the DGP is caught in the eyes of a storm over suspected irregularities, the Kerala government has ordered for a steep increase of his funds from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore. The Home Department reportedly increased the funds after the state police chief Loknath Behra submitted written requests six times. An order in this regard was issued on January 18.