Maharashtra CM opens fire at Oppn for Rs100-cr bullets purchase
Additional chief secretary (home) has been asked to inquire into the procurement as Shelar complained that the bullets were bought even though the state police do not possess a single rifle that can fire the ammunitionmumbai Updated: Mar 12, 2016 00:31 IST
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has initiated a probe into the purchase of ammunition worth Rs 100 crore by the previous Congress-NCP government, following a complaint made by BJP city chief Ashish Shelar.
Additional chief secretary (home) has been asked to inquire into the procurement as Shelar complained that the bullets were bought even though the state police do not possess a single rifle that can fire the ammunition.
Shelar had raised questions on the procurement of 4,80,000 JUNK 7.62x51 mm NATO belt ammunition by the home department first in the monsoon session of the state legislature in 2014. He said then home minister did not give a satisfactory reply on the issue.
In a complaint letter sent to Fadnavis, Shelar stated that thousands of these bullets purchased between 2008 and 2014 were still lying in the armoury of the state police in Pune. “The reason for their non-utilisation till date is absolutely shocking and scandalous. The entire Maharashtra police force do not possess a single rifle, which can fire this ammunition.”
This ammunition is used by medium machine gun, which is a military-grade ammunition and has never been used by any police force in the country, added Shelar.
The police use 7.62x39-mm-size ammunition and allegedly a mistake in ordering the ammo led to this procurement at the cost of the taxpayer.
The inquiry is expected to probe the purchase process and pin responsibility for the procurement on senior officials concerned.
In 2014, the home department was led by NCP’s RR Patil. A committee led by the director general of police or home secretary generally approves the purchase of such ammunition.