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CAG report nails Loknath Behra

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CAG report nails Loknath Behra
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) 2019 report has found glaring omissions on the part of Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra in purchases and use of funds.

The CAG report for 2013-18 was tabled in the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday.

Latching on to the findings, and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala (Congress), here on Wednesday, demanded a NIA probe and removal of Behra from his post. Such a thing had never happened in any state of the country, he added.

Speaking to the media, Sunil Raj, Accountant General, said 25 rifles and a large number of cartridges were missing from the police storage. "Our role is to find the faults and place that before the authorities. The Public Accounts Committee also will look into it," Raj said.

The report also points to collusion between Keltron, the state public sector company, and the police in purchases. It also says, Rs 2.81 crore meant to construct housing for policemen was diverted to build villas for top police officers.

Bullet-proof vehicles were purchased against the guidelines, it added.

However, a top police officer said no rifles were missing and the discrepancy occurred because it was shifted from one police camp to the other. "The missing cartridges issue is being probed," said the officer.

"Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has always been protective of Behra. No one knows why he is protecting Behra. Rifles and cartridges are missing and there are other incriminating revelations in the CAG report," said Chennithala.

Kerala politicians' penchant for taking up CAG reports is legendary. The classic example of that is the Palm oil import case in the early nineties. The issue still crops up here and there and surfaces, especially during elections.

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