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Minister guard’s gun found

The rifle of a constable that had gone missing from outside labour minister Purnendu Bose’s Teghoria flat last year was found on Thursday. The bullets in the gun are yet to be found.

Police said the gun was found in the septic tank on the premises of the building where Bose lives while it was being cleaned.

The .303 Lee Enfield rifle — a standard military issue during World War II that the North 24-Parganas police got from the state armoury in 2001 — disappeared early on June 25, while constable Tamal Naskar was allegedly sleeping on duty.

Naskar was part of the minister’s security team.

He was charged with dereliction of duty and suspended.

“The sweeper immediately called the building’s guard, who alerted the police. The gun was the same that had gone missing last year. The same serial number (BDN 103) was inscribed on it. But we still will send it to the armoury for a thorough check,” said a senior officer of Bidhannagar commissionerate.

The officer added the gun was loaded with five cartridges when it went missing. None of them was found on Thursday.

Officers of Baguiati police station who investigated the case said they had checked the septic tank after the gun had gone missing last year.

“The rifle was not in the tank then. It seems someone dropped the gun in the tank last month, after the tank was last cleaned,” said the officer.

Labour minister Purnendu Bose, who lives in a first-floor flat in the four-storeyed building, refused comment. “It’s a matter of police investigation,” he said.