Police investigating the case of the mysterious dumping of 727 live cartridges near Powai lake on Monday have not made much headway. The person(s) who dumped the cartridges are yet to be identified. Hawkers and shopkeepers located near the spot from which the cartridges were retrieved did not see anyone carrying the bag in which the cartridges were found, according to the Powai police. Of the 727 cartridges, 472 were of .22 calibre while 255 bullets were of .32 calibre.
“A police team has been sent to the Pune Ordnance Factory to ascertain whether any cartridges have been reported missing recently,” said Shivajirao Kolekar, senior inspector of Powai police station. The police are also questioning scrap dealers from the area to check whether cartridges were sold to them recently or whether anybody approached them with a stock of cartridges to be sold.
The police clarified on Tuesday that the cartridges were not of a prohibited bore. What this means is that any one with the requisite firearm licence could obtain them. “The .22 calibre cartridges are not much in use these days. We suspect they belong to an old lot and someone tried disposing them of in this manner as it was convenient,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Sakinaka Division) KS Chaudhari said.
Two civic workers who were working on a drainage line leading to the Powai lake on Monday had come across a bag containing some cartridges entangled in a drainage gate. A little later, they found a large cache of cartridges lying submerged in the water some distance ahead, following which they informed the police. A case has been registered against unidentified accused for disposing ammunition in a public space.