Three jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were arrested on Friday for selling arms and ammunition to Maoists, who may have used these to kill personnel of the same force at Dantewada in Chhattisgarh on April 6. Thus, the bullets used to kill the 75 CRPF men, most of them belonging to UP, might well have come from the CRPF and state police armouries.
The Special Task Force of the UP Police arrested Vinod Paswan, Chhotelal Verma and Vinesh Singh of the CRPF from Rampur, along with Nathi Ram of the state police from Moradabad and retired police armourer Yashoda Nand Singh from Allahabad.
A huge cache of cartridges used in automatic and self-loading rifles, revolvers and pistols was recovered from them.
Union Home Secretary GK Pillai said in Delhi the police found only ammunition from the three CRPF men’s homes.
CRPF Director General Vikram Srivastava has ordered the suspension of the three arrested men and instituted a court of enquiry.
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Brij Lal said armourers are the custodians of bullets supplied to the CRPF, the Provincial Armed Constabulary and the civil police each year for shooting practice.
The accused used to show more cartridges in their records as spent than were actually used and then supplied the live ones to their clients.
After the Dantewada massacre, STF chief Naveen Arora was tipped off that the Maoists acquired arms from a person in Allahabad. And the spoor led to Yashoda Nand.
On Friday, the STF came to know that a person would come to Rampur from Allahabad to collect an arms consignment. An elaborate trap was laid and Yashoda Nand walked into it with Chhotelal, Vinod and Vinesh.
They revealed that the network covered the armouries of the PAC and the civil police camps in Allahabad, Kanpur, Robertsganj, Mirzapur, Jhansi, Varanasi, Basti, Gonda and Chandauli.
Later, the police picked up two armourers from Jhansi and one each from Varanasi, Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Allahabad and Kanpur.