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    HC calls for files pertaining to missing cartridges

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    HC calls for files pertaining to missing cartridges
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    Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday asked the production of all files related to the missing cartridges of the Kerala Police.

    The High Court was hearing a petition seeking a CBI probe into the issue after the CAG pointed out serious lapses in the way the Kerala Police was maintaining rifles and cartridges.

    The court asked what action the state government has taken on the findings of the CAG.

    The CAG report for 2013-18, tabled in the Kerala Assembly last week, pointed to missing guns and cartridges, misuse and diversion of funds, alleged collusion between state-owned Keltron and the police in purchases, and named state police chief Loknath Behera for the goof up.

    The CAG report points out that several rounds of cartridges have been missing and what has come as a surprise to many is that duplicate ones were placed for the inspection conducted by the auditors.

    One of the accused in the case registered by the Kerala Police in the missing cartridges is the security guard of Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran and when this issue was brought to his notice, he reacted sharply by saying that, he is only an accused and will continue to be the minister's staff, till the case is finally disposed.

    The Congress and the BJP have been using the CAG report to slam Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, as he holds the Home portfolio and have both demanded a probe by a national agency - CBI or the NIA.

    Reacting to the CAG issue, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan - the lone Keralite in the Narendra Modi cabinet said on Thursday that the Centre will be forced to intervene, if no proper action is coming from the Vijayan government.

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