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Gunrunning case: 4 officers let off?

The Rajasthan government has failed to act against four senior officers months after a probe indicted them for gunrunning in the border districts of the desert state.

delhi Updated: Mar 29, 2010 00:25 IST
Satya Prakash

The Rajasthan government has failed to act against four senior officers months after a probe indicted them for gunrunning in the border districts of the desert state.

Bikaner divisional commissioner was asked by the state government to look into the charges of sale of prohibited and imported weapons to criminals. The officer found “Ramawatar, IAS, and Kunji Lal Meena, IAS, the then collectors of Srinanganagar district, guilty of supervisory negligence,” state’s home department told the Centre in an August 27, 2009 letter.

The communiqué is a part of the latest affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court. The court is hearing a public-interest petition filed in 2007 by advocate Arvind Kumar Sharma, seeking a CBI probe into the matter.

Hindustan Times wrote on September 5, 2007 that army officers had been selling their weapons in the grey market with the help of a cartel of ammunition dealers in the border districts of Rajasthan.

Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) officers Ashok Yadav, J.P. Bunkar, R.S. Makkar and Lal Chand Ojha, former additional district magistrates of Sriganganagar, were also found “guilty of committing unlawful acts and working beyond their jurisdiction”.

While the police registered cases against 23 officials, including Makkar and Ojha, names of Ramawtar, Meena and RAS officers Yadav and Bunkar were not in the FIRs. Even those named are roaming free as the government is yet to give nod for them to be put to trial.

The case is to be heard on Monday by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan.