In an effort to modernise the police force,the Ministry of Home Affairs supplied 2,000 AK-47 rifles to the Assam Police but the weapons remained unused,as there was no ammunition,according to the latest report of the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) that was tabled in the state Assembly on Saturday.
The weapons were supplied under the Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) scheme.
The Assam Police DG has been quoted in the report as saying “non-receipt of delivery and non-availability of railway wagons” were the reasons why the ammunition to use with the AK-47 rifles could not be collected.
While the MHA provided the 2,000 AK-47 rifles to the Assam Police in 2004-05,it was after two years that the latter placed an order for 3.25 lakh rounds of ammunition valued at Rs 96 lakh with the ordinance factory at Bharangaon. The ammunition had not arrived till September 2008 when the CAG team conducted the audit.
The report said “the objective of utilization of sophisticated weapons in place of outdated ones was not achieved due to defective planning”.
In 2004-06,the MHA provided the Assam Police with 5,200 INSAS rifles worth Rs 13.06 crore. The DGP’s office,in October-November 2006,issued 1,680 of these rifles to 24 districts and 3,520 rifles to the battalions. However,the rifles given to the districts were withdrawn in December 2007. The reason cited for the withdrawal was: INSAS rifle is a specialised weapon and should be held only by specially trained personnel of two new battalions “likely to be raised.” The new battalions haven’t been raised yet.
The CAG report also stated that while 32 of these INSAS rifles were issued to police stations in Kamrup district,remaining were lying idle. “Procurement of INSAS rifles without assessing its requirement resulting in idling of weaponry worth Rs 4.13 crore,” the CAG report said.
While a perspective plan for 2001-05 had stated that only five per cent of the state police force was equipped with modern weapons to take on the insurgent groups (like ULFA),a huge chunk of the requirement worked out by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) for the Assam Police also remained unfulfilled.
In this regard,the CAG report said that while the BPR&D and Assam Police had worked out that the latter required 3,484 AK-47 rifles,2,000 were procured (and that too without any ammunition). Similarly,as against 28,186 7.62 mm SLRs required,only 100 were bought.
Again,while the BPR&D prescribed 1,126 pieces of 7.62 mm LMGs,749 pieces of 9 mm carbines and 230 pieces of VL pistols,the Assam Police failed to procure these.
Instead,the Assam Police procured 1.99 lakh rounds of ammunition for the outdated 0.303 rifles at Rs 68.81 lakh.