Guard held in missing weapons case

Special Branch officer was part of Jharkhand minister's escort

Special Branch officer Navneet Tiwari, one of three bodyguards of Jharkhand Excise Minister Jaiprakash Bhai Patel, was arrested and produced before a local court on Monday in connection with a missing weapons case.

The court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate sent him to 14-day judicial remand.

Superintendent of Police Manoj Kaushik said Tiwari was produced before the court after he confessed that he was the mastermind in the three missing weapons case.

During the course of interrogation of five men including Tiwari starting November 24, the SP said Tiwari admitted of his involvement in the case.

He also revealed the spot from where the two AK-47 riffles were recovered on Saturday last, Kaushik said, adding the accused claimed he did not know where his service 9 mm revolver and bullets had gone.

“We will request the court to take him in remand for a week for his brain mapping, lie detection and narco tests by experts called from Gujarat,” the officer added.

The SP, who earlier said police suspected two drivers, Bhubaneswar Mahto and Anil Kumar, now ruled out their involvement along with Jharkhand Armed Police Constables Indra Kumar Chhtre and Kishan Rai.

All five men had been the part of the minister’s escort on November 23 when they checked into a guesthouse after dropping the minister at his house in the town.

After Tiwari informed his seniors about the missing weapons the next morning, all of them were taken into police custody and the three police personnel were suspended.

Denying that police had quizzed the minister on Sunday and ruling out his involvement, the SP said, “We have gathered some information from him. He has extended his full support and cooperation.”

Allegations denied

Excise Minister Patel denied allegations of his involvement in the theft of weapons used by his security personnel.

“I deny the media report. Some political parties are out to tarnish my image,” Patel told a news conference here. “I would like to request Chief Minister Hemant Soren to set up a high-level inquiry into the case,” he said.

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