Thiruvananthapuram: The Crime Branch has arrested a sub-inspector of police (SI) for allegedly replacing missing cartridges with fake bullets at the Special Armed Police(SAP) camp at Peroorkada in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram district.
SI Reji Balachandran, 52, a trainer at the KAP Battalion in Adoor, was among the accused in the missing cartridges case. He has been remanded for 14 days.
In May 2014, during Reji's tenure as the quartermaster at SAP, 350 bullets went missing. Two months later, he replaced these with 350 fake bullets, as per the case. These were reportedly kept in the store.
The role of senior officers in this scam would also be probed.
Crime Branch chief Tomin Thachankary said that the team would probe if the bullets found their way to terrorists or Maoists.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report on general and social sector had flagged a shortage of over 12,000 cartridges and 25 INSAS rifles.
Special team to probe Pak-made bullets
Meanwhile, the probe into the Pak-made bullets found abandoned at Kulathupuzha in Kollam district has been handed over to a special team.
The DGP has deployed a 21-member team led by DIG Anup Kuruvilla of the the Anti-Terrorist squad for the probe.
Kollam City Additional SP Jossy Cherian is the probe officer. Kollam rural SP, DySPs, circle-inspectors, and sub-inspectors are also part of the team. Earlier, Anup Kuruvilla conducted the probe for the Crime Branch.
The new team was formed considering the gravity of the incident, which raises serious security concerns.
Fourteen bullets were found abandoned in a plastic cover near the Muppathadi bridge along the Kulathupuzha-Madathara road. Twelve bullets had the inscription 'POF' (Pakistan Ordnance Factories), and these were manufactured during the 1980-82 period. But the remaining two did not have any such details.