By Leivon Jimmy
The Manipur government has suspended four of its senior police officers, including an IPS officer, after a large number of pistols went missing from the weapons armoury of the Manipur Rifles (MR) garrison. A suspension order was issued on Sunday, barring the officers from leaving the state without obtaining permission from authorities.
The suspended police officers include a sub-divisional Police officer (SDPO), CO in-charge of 3rd India Reserve Battalion (IRB), Additional SP Jiribam and a Superintendent of Police Kamjong district.
The suspension order comes a day after Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said the probe into the missing pistols would be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He added that the state government has intimated to the NIA in writing to conduct a probe as the matter is of national security.
The NIA has not yet responded to the state’s request.
The Manipur government reportedly purchased a consignment of 570 9mm pistols on September 11, 2014, for use by the state’s security forces. Of the total, 56 9mm pistols, along with 59 magazines, were found missing from the armoury last week. The MR is guarded at all times.
The incident came to light last Friday after the commandant of the 2nd MR, P Manjit, examined the current holdings of arms and ammunitions of both the unit and police head quarters (PHQ) Pool. Subsequently, the commandant lodged an FIR with the concerned police station.
It has been reported that five suspects involved in the case, including two personnel of the MR and a cadre of a Kuki militant, have been arrested by the police.