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Central agencies, ATS to probe Kulathupuzha bullets case

Different Central agencies including Military Intelligence and National Investigation Agency (NIA) will join Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to probe the discovery of foreign make bullets suspected to be manufactured in Pakistan from Kulathupuzha.

The live bullets wrapped in a newspaper were found abandoned near Muppathadipalam on Saturday and it was civilians who spotted the package and alerted the police.

POF markings

Reportedly, the bullets have the initials POF (Pakistan Ordnance Factories) inscribed on them hinting at the possibility of their Pakistan origin.

Since POF is Pakistan’s largest arms and ammunition supplier headquartered in Wah Cantonment, the case has been handed over to ATS and ATS Deputy Inspector General of Police Anoop Kuruvila will be in charge of the probe.

According to ballistics experts, the 7.62×51 mm bullets are not used by any forces in India and their specifications show that they were made in 1980-81. “None of the bullets are made in India, though they can be used to feed machine guns like AK47. Indian Armed Forces do not use such bullets in their assault weapons,” said an official.

No connection

Meanwhile, Crime Branch officials who inspected the bullets confirmed that they have no connection with the ones missing from the Special Armed Police camp.

Major Mukesh from Military Intelligence and officials Vinod Kumar and Ashok from NIA Kochi unit visited the spot on Sunday and collected details related to the case.

The detailed statement of Joshy, a lorry driver, who found the bullets and alerted the police, was also recorded by the different teams.

Reportedly, the police retrieved a receipt in Tamil from the location which is also very near to the border. “In this case we require assistance from other States and we have already started coordinating with them. Central agencies were contacted after we found the markings and preliminary investigation revealed that the bullets were foreign make,” said Director General of Police Lokanath Behera.

High alert

The bullets are currently kept at Kulathupuzha police station while police and forest officials have been put on a high alert since the discovery of the bullets.

Forest officials had conducted an extensive search in the area on Saturday night with the help of bomb squad from Kollam using metal detectors. “ATS will be handling the case and currently it is a joint investigation and many agencies are involved. More developments in the case cannot be revealed,” said Hari Sankar, District Police Chief, Kollam Rural.

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