Muskets recovery from police station rules out maoist link

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Chennai, Feb 17 (UNI) The surprise recovery of five muskets, recently looted from the Adhiyamankottai police station, from its backyard last evening, had not only baffled the top brass of the police but also virtually ruled out the involvement of Maoist group in the incident.

Five .0410 rifles, kept at the police station, a Single Barrel Breach loading (SBBL) rifle deposited by a local gun licence holder and a walkie-talkie were stolen from the station, prone for attacks in the naxal-infested Dharmapuri district, in the early hours of February 9.

Initially, police believed that it was a handiwork of Maoists and five policemen on duty-- a Sub-Inspector, three Head-constables and a sentry (on guard duty)-- had reportedly dozed off when the incident took place.

Not to leave anything to chance, senior officials, including ADGP K Vijayakumar, formed as many as 16 teams to trace the missing weapons and unravel the mystery behind it.

After preliminary investigations, four police personnel were suspended for dereliction of duty, pending departmental inquiry and the remaining cops attached to the station were transferred.

At a time when six policemen, attached to the station, were brought to city yesterday for a mandatory medical check up, prior to their narco analysis test at Bangalore, police officials, much to their dismay and in full glare of public, recovered five of the six stolen muskets from their own backyard.

A search was on to trace the SBBL and the walkie-talkie and District Superindent of Police Najmul Hoda, expressed confidence of tracing them in the next few days.

During the second search of the Banana Plantations behind the police station, a team led by Inspector P Thangaraj of Attur Police Station recovered the weapons.

The fact that the weapons were recovered just behind the police station ruled out the involvement of naxals in the incident and also disproved the policemen's theory that they were fast alseep when the incident took place.

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