Himachal Pradesh Depends Outdated Weapons to Tackle Crime, Alleges CAG Report

By Dayafter Bureau, Agencies

Himachal Pradesh, which shares a domestic border with Jammu and Kashmir and a porous international border with China, depends upon outdated arms to tackle crime, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said on Saturday.

Most of the police stations continued to depend on outdated and obsolete weapons like .303 rifles and .455 revolvers instead of the prescribed 7.62 mm self-loading rifles (SLRs), the CAG said in its follow up of performance audit on modernisation of police forces’ report.

Against the requirement of 9,074 SLRs of 7.62/5.56 mm range and 323 light machine guns (LMGs), there were 5,889 and 191 weapons, respectively, in the Police Department as on March 2016. This indicated a shortfall of 35 percent in SLRs and 41 per cent in LMGs.

Besides, it said the department has not disposed off or replaced the old weapons with modern weaponry.

The CAG said in 2009 there was 71 and 88 per cent shortage of SLRs and LMGs, respectively, in the state. At that time 9 mm pistols were 221 per cent in excess.

It also picked holes in utilising funds allocated by the central government for police modernisation.

During 2011-16, central funds ranging between 21 and 87 per cent remained unutilised at the end of each financial year, the CAG added.

Smuggling of rare species of fauna and of Chinese goods is reported quite frequently from the state’s Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts