In a breakthrough in the Pratapgarh triple murder case,the CBI Saturday recovered DSP Ziaul Haques service pistol (.9mm calibre) and three empty shells related to the murder of village pradhan Nanhey Yadav from bushes in Balipur village where Yadav,his brother Suresh and the police officer were shot dead on March 2.
The recovery of the firearm and the shells,confirmed by CBI spokesperson RK Gaur,were made following interrogation of the pradhans son and brother Pawan and suspended station officer (SO) of Hathigawan police station Manoj Shukla. The cartridges in the pistol belonging to Haque,who was the circle officer,have been found intact,which suggested that no gunshot was fired from the weapon,the sources said.
The pistol was found missing when the police had reached the spot after Haques murder. His cellphone is also missing since then.
Meanwhile,two of the main accused named in pradhan Nanhey Yadavs murder case Kamta Pal and his son Ajay Pal appeared before CBI Saturday morning. They were absconding since the pradhan was shot dead. The two were undergoing interrogation.
The police officers pistol and one empty shell of .315 bore and two of .38 bore were recovered from the bushes at a secluded place,which is about 20 metres away from the spot where the pradhan was shot dead. The bushes are about 500 metres away from the spot where Haques body was found and the place is in opposite direction.
Both,the firearm and the shells were lying in the same bushes,added the sources.
The CBI team began a search for the pistol this morning after pradhans son and brother Pawan reportedly told the agency that the pistol might be recovered somewhere in or around the village. They also had told the CBI officials that then SO Manoj Shukla can also help tracing the weapon. Shukla too was questioned and he was taken along during the search operation.
The agency first searched the pradhans house and later searched the pits and the bushes around the village.
While searching the bushes,it was Shukla who took the CBI officials to the particular bushes where the pistol and three shells were found lying. The CBI summoned the in-charge of the armoury at Pratapgarh Reserve Police Lines from where the pistol was issued to the police officer. The in-charge confirmed that the same pistol was issued.
The cartridges were found intact with pistols magazine.
The sources added that the shells found from the bushes are of the same calibre used in pradhans murder.
However,the CBI is sending the pistol and the shells for ballistic test to get an accurate report,the sources confirmed.
The pradhans son and brother have emerged as prime suspects in the police officers murder following recovery of the pistol. The suspended SO may also face charge of destruction of evidences,added the sources.