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PIL on minister rifle row

Ranchi, Dec. 5: The lost-and-found AK-47 rifles controversy involving JMM minister Jai Prakash Bhai Patel has now reached Jharkhand High Court with one Raju Kumar filing a PIL today.

A resident of Hinoo in Ranchi, Kumar has sought a probe by the National Investigation Agency’s director. He also attached newspaper reports on the incident in which two loaded AK-47s, one pistol and 150 bullets carried by Patel’s three bodyguards went missing from a Hazaribagh bungalow they were sleeping in on November 23 night.

But one of the constables, Navneet Kumar Tiwary, apparently confessed that the “theft” was done on the instructions of Patel and the weapons were supposed to be handed over to Maoist zonal commander Ajay Mahto of Vishnugarh — an allegation that has been denied by the JMM leader.

Police also seem to believe that the bodyguard was the real mastermind.

The PIL alleged that home secretary N.N. Pandey and DGP Rajeev Kumar were shielding the minister and pinning the blame on the constable. It claimed that Patel’s father, late Teklal Mahto who was also a JMM leader, was in the eye of the storm in a similar incident. The matter was hushed up, the PIL said.