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Siachen troops' gear is on sale in J&K

A scam unfolds with police detecting gear meant for troops in Saichen glacier being sold in local markets.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2007 19:33 IST


A pilferage scam running into crores of rupees has come to light in the Army's strategic Leh Corps in Jammu and Kashmir with police detecting clothing and rations meant for troops deployed on the Saichen glacier being sold in local markets.

Jammu and Kashmir Police have registered 11 FIRs since July after finding food packets and other equipment meant for Siachen being sold in the open market but the Army has refused to cooperate in the probe, sources said.

Police have so far arrested 31 people, including shopkeepers, in various areas in northern Kashmir. A few of them have made confessional statements before magistrates, during which they named senior Army officers who allegedly supplied the materials to them, sources said.

Armed with the confessional statements, police approached the Leh-based 14 Corps for questioning certain officers but the Army refused to cooperate, they said.

The matter has now been taken up by the state government with the Army's top brass as local commanders are refusing to entertain police's request, the sources said.

What surprised police was the seizure of high quality parachutes, trousers and jackets meant for use at high altitudes. Police also seized army boots in the Nubra Valley, near the Siachen glacier, which were being sold to trekkers visiting the area, the sources said.

Most of the equipment for soldiers deployed on Siachen, the world's highest and coldest battlefield, is very expensive and purchased from European countries.

First Published: Aug 17, 2007 16:13 IST