February 2008 News

Sonia Scare: 'Secret' Inquiry Indicts CRPF

28 February 2008
Times Internet Limited.

New Delhi: In what could be a huge embarrassment for India's largest paramilitary force, an independent 'secret' inquiry conducted by intelligence agencies at the behest of the home ministry has found that CRPF officials were involved in organising fake seizure of RDX and ammunition from Bhaderwah in Jammu and Kashmir, ahead of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's visit to the town on February 22. Sources said the agencies have recommended severe action against the guilty CRPF personnel involved in organising the fake seizure. A case is likely to be registered against the guilty once the CRPF and J&K police finish their inquiry. The CRPF's claim of recovering 4-kg RDX, Chinese-make grenades and other ammunition from a militant hideout near Sonia’s rally site had created panic in the area resulting in cancellation of the public meeting at Bhaderwah, the assembly constituency of J&K CM Ghulam Nabi Azad. Sources in the home ministry said the need to go for an independent inquiry was felt to verify the claims and counter-claims made by both the J&K police and CRPF during the preliminary probe. The J&K police and the CRPF constituted high-level inquiries after the local administration questioned the veracity of the seizure. According to Doda SSP Manohar Singh, who is also the inquiry officer in the case, the conspiracy for the fake seizure was hatched three days before the incident. The local police had questioned four villagers in the case, including a grocery shop owner from Bhaderwah. Top CRPF officials here refused to confirm the involvement of their personnel in the fake seizure and said the inquiry report was still awaited. They, however, said that if any personnel was found guilty of organising a fake operation, they would be dismissed from service and handed over to the local police for criminal proceedings. On February 21, a CRPF commandant had taken some personnel from Bhaderwah police station, as mandatory, before raiding the alleged militant hideout in Teligarh near Chinote, about 4-km from Bhaderwah town. The CRPF commandant had informed the area SHO that there was 'specific information about presence of some militants at a hideout'.

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