Attempt by `burglars' to break open the `bell of arms'
PATHANAMTHITTA: The Pathanamthitta police were literally caught napping on Monday. An attempt by `burglars' to enter the `bell of arms,' where police arms are stored, was averted at 2.50 a.m. on Monday by mere chance. The burglars had by then made a hole on the back wall of the police station.
According to Superintendent of Police (SP) M.N. Jayaprakash, the attempt was made between 2.30 a.m. and 3 a.m. when four policemen were on duty. They could not hear any sound because of leaking of water from the overhead tank.
A burglar took to his heels on seeing a policeman coming to the back of the police station. A police dog squad and fingerprint experts inspected the site in the morning. Deputy Inspector-General of Police Nithin Agarwal visited the station in the forenoon. Later, the SP suspended the four policemen who were on duty. They are N. Ramachandran, head constable, and A. Ayyappan, S. Rajan and A. Mony, all constables.
Thirty-three rifles, pistols, revolvers and over 1,000 rounds are stored in the bell of arms, besides cash to the tune of Rs.3 lakh, according to police sources.
Most-modern weapons, including sten guns and self-loading rifles, brought for NCC cadets' training are stored in another room in the police station complex.
In two separate statements, the local MLA K. Sivadasan Nair and District Congress Committee vice-president P. Mohanraj alleged that the burglary attempt at the police station in the heart of the town was a testimony to the sad state of affairs in the district law and order machinery.
There had been allegations of the police abetting the so-called sand and liquor mafia in different parts of the district.
There had been reports of the lackadaisical approach of the police in implementing decisions taken by the District Development Committee on October 30.