Kerala

Rifles not missing: police

‘Will answer CAG queries to the Public Accounts Committee’

The State police said on Thursday that the 25 missing assault rifles flagged by the CAG were in safe custody in an Armed Police Battalion camp in Thrissur.

Senior officers said the police had informed the CAG in writing when the audit process was on. However, it appeared not to figure in the final report. The police had issued the weapons to an armed unit based in Thrissur in 2011. The firearms were part of a batch of 660 INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifles. Improper maintenance of records and clerical error had resulted in the misjudgement. The CAG had found 12,061 rounds missing. A bulk of them had not been accounted for since 1994.

An officer said officers could not fully answer for cartridges expended in life fire drills and anti-Maoist operations. The Crime Branch is probing the matter. So far, investigators have found no organised pilferage of live ammunition from any State police facility.

The police hoped to tell the Public Accounts Committee, the final word on audit reports, that it had not violated any norm in the acquisition of bulletproof vehicles for the use of VIPS entitled to Z+ category security.

The police had gone for limited tender and chose the cheapest option available in the open market.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 9:08:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rifles-not-missing-police/article30813923.ece

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