A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) presented in the Kerala Assembly on Wednesday has found that the state police diverted funds meant for strengthening operations in Maoist-infested areas to procure vehicles for VIP security.
The CAG also took serious note of firearms and live cartridges missing from the department and bid to cover up such incidents. It also noted violation of the stores purchase manual and guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission in procurement of equipment.
The audit report was about the general and social sector for the fiscal year ending 2018 and mainly dealt with instances that came to its notice during 2017-18.
The report said the department does not have the full complement of vehicles as required under the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). The guidelines of modernisation of police force (MOPF) scheme in procurement of vehicles for VIP security were violated.
Instead of addressing the shortfall in number of vehicles, the police procured inadmissible vehicles under the scheme. Rather than procuring bullet resistant vehicles for deployment in Maoist-affected areas, police procured such vehicles for VIP security which was not admissible under the MOPF scheme. High-end luxury cars were procured in the guise of Mobile Command and Control Vehicles.
Instead of addressing the shortfall in the number of vehicles in police stations, 15 per cent of the 269 Light Motor Vehicles procured by the department were luxury cars that were deployed for use of high-level officers and non-operational units.
The state police chief diverted Rs 2.81 crore — meant for construction of upper subordinate staff quarters — for construction of villas for top officials.
Taking note of physical stock at the Thiruvananthapuram Special Armed Police Battalion, it said that an inspection revealed shortage of 25 INSAS rifles and 12,061 live cartridges.
A preliminary probe was ordered by the Crime Branch and it found a bid to cover up the missing of live cartridges by replacing them with dummy cartridges.
Further, anti-Maoist operations in the forests of Palakkad, Malappuram, Idukki and Wayanad suffered due to the dependence of police on analog communication equipment as the state government failed to pay for spectrum charges on time and get a licence from the Centre to procure digital mobile radios.
An official communication from police headquarters said it is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which is competent and empowered to take decisions on the allegations.
“We will give reply to the concerned authority as per procedure and rules. The information on each allegation will be provided to the PAC,” it said.
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