HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
BIRGUNJ: Organised mafias are involved in the weapon smuggling in cahoots with police personnel posted at police offices of Parsa, Bara, Rautahat districts, sources said.
According to security officials, different organised groups are active in purchasing the stolen weapons in nexus with police personnel.
Police investigation on the lost weapons shows that leaders of different parties wielding clout in the region are involved in the incident.
"We have found the involvement of some political people in the arm smuggling. But, the efforts to collect the evidences are underway,” Inspector KP Sharma informed.
Local leaders are learnt to be using police personnel from Bara, Parsa and Rautahat to smuggle weapons from the police offices. Informed source said that a soldier Chhotelal Thakur had sold one SLR at Rs 1, 200,00 to a politician from Bara few days back.
A high level police officer said that though small weapons are being used by local criminals; smuggled automatic weapons are not used by local criminals. "This suggests powerful people are involved in the arm smuggling as they keep the weapons with themselves,” the police officer added. Bara police have arrested Sesnath Thakur (47) and Kashi Timlsina (37) with weapons in the past three months from Bara. Inspector Sharma sad that police arrested Sesnath Thakur with automatic pistol, one magazine and four bullets four days ago.
Sharma said that Sesnath was involved in the sale and production of weapons for the past 10 years. Three months ago, police arrested Kashi Timilsina with foreign automatic pistol, one magazine and two rounds of bullets from Bara headquarters Kalaiya.
Soldier Rajesh Kumar Guvaju stationed at District Police Office Parsa lost his pistol, another soldier Dambar Bahadur Majhi lost his SLR rifle 11 days ago from the same office. Both lost weapons are yet to be found.
Constable Majhi at Parsa said he lost SLR from the District Police Office's barrack itself. "A weapon smuggler must have entered the police force,” SP Pitambar Adhikary said.
Constable Birchand Yadav has been kept in police custody on charges of losing 45 bullets of SLR rifles 11days ago at the District Police Office, Parsa. Though constables duo Ram Krishna Chaudhary and Pravu Ray Yadav were arrested at Rautahat for stealing weapons, Yadav was freed on bail while Chaudhary is doing time in Gaur prison.
Constable Rajesh Kumar Guvaju posted at the Parsa District Office had gone on leave during last year's Dashain without informing the office. He informed about the loss of his pistol five days later to then SP Ramesh Kharel.
Guvaju lost his pistol when he was deployed as a private security guard of Ashok Temani, chairman, Birgunj Industry Association. He is doing time at the jail after he was suspended for missing his pistol. The incident of rifle disappearance from Rautaht and Parsa is identical.
"Weapons are stolen during the time of duty change,” one police officer said. Former SP Ramlakhan Yadav attributed the arms disappearance to police's negligence. He said that weapons are stolen by the colleagues either to sell to the criminal groups or for personal animosity.
Police officers argue that weapons are lost when constables are under the influence or when they are exhausted due to duty pressure. Former SP Yadav said that regular briefing about the weapons and weapons check at the main gate of the police office after duty can reduce the weapon loss.