M A I N   N E W S

2 CRPF jawans held for selling arms to Naxals
Three cops & retired sub-inspector among six arrested
Tip-off received after Dantewada carnage
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Modus Operandi

Kingpin ex-SI Yashoda Nand Singh collected empty shells fired during training from various CRPF and PAC armoury centres. These were replaced with live bullets at the main Rampur Armoury and then finally supplied to Naxals. Recovered: 245 kg empty cartridges, over 5,000 live cartridges, 16 Magazines, one mobile phone, Rs 1.76 lakh.

Lucknow, April 30
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) today arrested six persons, including two serving CRPF jawans and a retired sub-inspector, for allegedly stealing arms and ammunition and supplying the same to Naxals. Unconfirmed reports said another policeman was arrested in Basti.

With raids continuing in several districts, the number of arrests was likely to go up, ADG (Law and Order) Brij Lal said. Following preliminary interrogation, the STF was conducting raids at several places, including Gonda, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Basti, Jhansi, Chandauli and Rampur, and more arrests were likely.

The arrests were made on a tip-off in the aftermath of the Dantewada Naxal attack that left 76 security personnel dead (42 from UP alone). It was learnt that a large quantity of cartridges was being smuggled out of the CRPF Group Centre Armoury at Rampur via a source in Allahabad.

Investigating the tip-off, Special Task Force SSP Naveen Arora and his team yesterday arrested the alleged kingpin -- retired sub-inspector Yashoda Nand Singh -- from Rampur. Along with him was arrested his main supplier, Havildar (armoury) Vinod Paswan posted at the CRPF Group Centre in Rampur and his aide Vinod Singh, serving with CRPF at Rampur.

Both admitted to regularly removing live and empty cartridges from the armoury to sell to ex-SI Yashoda Nand Singh and Constable Nathi Ram Saini for a negotiated price. A large number of live and empty shells were recovered from the duo.

This led the STF to the fourth person - Constable Nathi Ram Saini, posted at the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Police Academy, Moradabad. Later, two more policemen — Banshlal and Akhilesh Pandey — were arrested in Jhansi and booked under the Arms Act.

Police sources said kingpin Yashoda Nand Singh collected empty shells of bullets fired during training from various CRPF and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) armoury centres. A whopping 2.5-quintal empty shells were recovered. These shells were later replaced with live bullets at the main Rampur Armoury and then finally supplied to Naxals.

However, Brij Lal said that more investigation was required to conclusively prove that the pilfered arms and ammunition were being supplied to Naxals. Yet, he admitted that the large-scale recovery pointed at the involvement of a big group. “We have recovered empty shells in quintals. No small mafia or criminal gang requires such heavy ammunition,” Lal said.

The CRPF, meanwhile, has suspended both its personnel and ordered an immediate Court of Inquiry.





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