Other States

Old guns let down H.P. police

Report by CAG underscores the lapse in the strategically important State

Himachal Pradesh, which shares a boundary with Jammu and Kashmir and a porous International Border with China, depends on outdated arms to tackle crime, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India said on Saturday.

Most of the police stations continue to depend on outdated and obsolete weapons such as .303 rifles and .455 revolvers instead of the prescribed 7.62 mm self-loading rifles (SLRs), the CAG said in its follow-up of performance audit on modernisation of police forces’ report.

Against the requirement of 9,074 SLRs of 7.62/5.56 mm range and 323 light machine guns (LMGs), there were 5,889 and 191 weapons, respectively, in the police department as on March 2016.

This indicated a shortfall of 35% in SLRs and 41% in light machine guns.

On fund utilisation

Besides, it said the department had not disposed of, or replaced, the old weapons with modern weaponry.

The CAG said that in 2009, there was 71% shortage of SLRs and and 88% of light machine guns in Himachal Pradesh.

At that time, 9 mm pistols were 221% in excess.

It also picked holes in utilising funds allocated by the Central government for police modernisation.

Between 2011 and 2016, Central funds ranging between 21% and 87% remained unutilised at the end of each financial year, the CAG added.

Smuggling of rare species of fauna and Chinese goods is reported frequently from Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts of Himachal Pradesh.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 3:54:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/old-guns-let-down-hp-police/article18064191.ece

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