ITBP dismisses jawan caught breaking ATM in HP

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An ITBP jawan, recently caught for allegedly attempting to break open an ATM machine using a gas cutter in Himachal Pradesh, has been dismissed from service by the border guarding force, officials said on Tuesday.

Constable Sandeep Kumar Khokhar (26) was caught "red-handed" by the police on November 24 while he and an accomplice were trying to break open an ATM machine in the dead of the night in Kinnaur district of the state.

"The evidence against the jawan, who is posted in the 19th battalion in Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh, has been provided to us by the police," ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said.

"There is zero tolerance in the force against such incidents and hence the jawan was dismissed from service and struck off from the roles with immediate effect," he said.

As per the police investigation, the jawan had called his accomplice from his home state Rajasthan to break open the machine and steal cash.

The duo was spotted by locals while they were entering the ATM placed in Moorang Tehsil of Kinnaur district on the intervening night of November 24-25.

Bank officials locked the ATM and called the police after which the jawan and his aide were arrested and a gas cutter and welder was recovered from the crime spot, the police probe report said.

"The character and conduct of Khokhar is not reliable and may be prejudicial to the force as well as to the nation. Therefore, his further retention in service is not in the interest of the security of the state (country) and he is herby dismissed from service on November 25," the dismissal order said.

A senior officer posted at the ITBP formation in Himachal Pradesh said the alleged criminal act of the trooper has brought disrepute to the force and hence stringent action to dismiss him from service within 24 hours of the incident was taken so that it sends across a message that indiscipline and criminal acts will not be tolerated.

The jawan had joined the ITBP, a Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), in 2012 and he hailed from the Sikar district of Rajasthan.

The force is cooperating with the local police to take the probe in the case to its logical conclusion, the officer said.

The about 90,000-personnel-strong Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and it also renders a variety of other roles in the internal security domain of the country.

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