A Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) jawan and his friend were arrested for allegedly stealing arms and ammunition from a camp of the security force and trying to sell them to Maoists in Dantewada district, police said on Wednesday.
Terming it a "very sensitive" issue, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava claimed that this was the first time a policeman was caught for stealing arms and selling to it Maoists.
The accused, CAF 10th battalion (E company) constable Raju Kujur and his friend Mitthe Netam, were caught on Tuesday from Dantewada, around 400 km from Raipur, he said.
Both are natives of Osra village in Dantewada's neighbouring Bijapur district, located around 450 km from the state capital Raipur, the SP said.
The CAF's E company was deployed in the Barsoor police station area of Dantewada.
During interrogation, Kujur claimed that some more police personnel from Bijapur and Dantewada were involved in the nexus, SP Pallava said, adding more arrests were likely after the investigation.
He said an investigation was launched after theft of two self-loading rifles and four magazines, containing 70 rounds of ammunition, from the CAF camp came to light a few days back.
The weapons and ammunition were recovered Monday from the bank of a river at a forest in Bhairamgarh area of Bijapur, the police officer said.
Based on suspicion, phone call details of Kujur, who was on leave for the last few days, were checked. Later, during interrogation, the accused admitted to have stolen the weapons to sell them to Maoists, SP Pallava said.
The investigation also revealed that Kujur was allegedly involved in providing ammunition to Maoists for the last five years in lure of money. This was the first time that he had struck a deal to supply automatic firearms to ultras, the SP said.
Describing it as a "very sensitive" issue, he said, "For the first time in the state, a policeman has been arrested in a case of pilferage of arms and ammunition and selling it to Maoists."
SP Pallava said Kujur had struck a deal for selling the rifles at Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh each and a round of ammunition for Rs 500.
Kujur's friend Netam was acting as his courier to supply the weapons to Maoists, the SP said, adding a case has been registered against the accused under IPC sections 380 (theft) and 457 (trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence).
Kujur's bank account details and assets were being analysed, the police officer said.
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