Law catches up with cop who stole colleague's gun

Law catches up with cop who stole colleague's gun

Law has caught up with a City Armed Reserve (CAR) head constable, who stole a colleague’s service pistol 11 years ago, in the most unexpected of ways.

When Purushottam Rao (53) scolded three drunk men for urinating on the wall of a Ganesha temple on Mysuru Road around 10.45 pm on February 17, 2017, he had no idea that the incident will throw up one of his deep, dark secrets. The men — unaware of Rao’s true identity as he was in plain clothes — picked a fight with him.

When Purushottam brandished a pistol at them, one of them, Annamalai (25), snatched it in a reflexive action and punched him in the face. The men fled with the pistol as Purushottam fell to the ground.

Purushottam went to the Cottonpet police station and filed a complaint of assault against the men, but did not report the theft of his service pistol fearing departmental action for losing the firearm. As police began to investigate the case, they arrested Annamalai, a resident of Anjanappa Garden, who works at an incense stick factory.

Police caught Annamalai on Monday and, as per his information, seized a fully loaded 9 mm automatic pistol wrapped in a gunny bag concealed in a dry drain near his house. It was apparently the same service pistol alloted to Purushottam  as per the Arms Issue Register. Investigators felt something amiss and asked Purushottam whether his service pistol was stolen during the assault. He replied in the negative and said the firearm was safe in his house.

To join the missing dots, a policeman was sent to Purushottam’s house. Interestingly, he found a pistol under Purushottam’s bed.

When investigators checked the firearm, its serial number matched that of a pistol stolen from a Quick Response Team (QRT) constable named Dasharath Rao posted to the Raj Bhavan in 2006. Police summoned Dasharath for identifying his lost firearm. Deposing before senior police officers, he identified it positively.

Purushottam later admitted to possessing the stolen pistol all these years “just for fun”. He was booked under Arms Act, 1959, and sent to jail. Senior officials have written to the Home Department, recommending stringent action against him and exonerating Dasharath.

“We are investigating as to how did Purushottam steal the pistol and what he had been doing with it all these years,” DCP (West) M N Anucheth said.

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