Multiple arms, ammo, ₹7 lakh drug money missing from Dialpura police station: SIT
In its report filed to the Bathinda SSP on Thursday, the two-member SIT pointed out the role of munshi Sandeep Singh behind the serious discrepancies at the malkhana of the Dialpura police station
A special investigation team (SIT) has found about a dozen weapons, 300 cartridges and drug money to the tune of ₹7 lakh missing from the custody of the Dialpura police station in Bathinda.
In its report filed to Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) J Elenchezian on Thursday, the two-member SIT pointed out the role of munshi Sandeep Singh behind the serious discrepancies at the malkhana of the said rural police station.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Phul, Aaswant Dhaliwal, who is an SIT member, said Sandeep had been absent from duty for the last two months. “We are trying to locate him, as he has abstained from duty since the investigation started. Practically, the munshi is the in-charge of the malkhana and there is no information where the firearms, ammunition and money are,” said the DSP.
The SSP said appropriate action will be taken on Saturday.
On June 11, HT had reported the disappearance of weapons from the police station, quoting the then Dialpura station house officer (SHO) Darpan Ahluwalia who had said that the first weapon went missing in May.
“A family from Kotha Guru Ka village had submitted a weapon after the death of the licensee (in 2021). When the deceased’s son (Manjinder Singh) approached the police station to get it back, the pistol was found exchanged,” the SHO had stated then.
The laxity caused much embarrassment to the Punjab Police as one of the pistols deposited at the police station was later recovered from a drug peddler.
“On May 27 this year, Bathinda’s crime investigation agency (CIA) arrested one Ritik Khanna with drugs and found a .32-bore pistol in his possession. During investigation, it was found that the weapon belonged to one Pritam Singh, of Bhagta Bhai Ka town, who had surrendered it at the Dialpura police station. Later, two more weapons were found missing from the station and the SIT was tasked with the audit of the entire material at the station,” said an official.
DSP Dhaliwal said a detailed investigation revealed that the weapons of the private individuals, who had submitted these in police custody in the past few years for different reasons, and case property were no longer at the malkhana.
“Around 300 cartridges, meant for the police, are missing from the armoury of the said police station. Also, more than ₹7 lakh that were seized from drug smugglers over the last few years were not located in the physical possession of the said station,” he added.
Dialpura SHO Jagdeep Singh said the case was being probed by senior officials and he had not received any direction to register an FIR in the matter.
The district police received a third complaint in June that was made by one Bhajan Singh of Jalal village.
“Before going to Canada in 2020, the complainant’s son deposited his weapon with the police. Later, the family decided to sell the weapon and Bhajan secured the power of attorney for its disposal. As per the complaint, he submitted an application to get back the weapon in March this year, but it could not be found in police custody,” said an official privy to the development.