CBI finds pistol of slain DSP

Ziaul Haque

In a breakthrough in the Pratapgarh triple murder case, the CBI Saturday recovered DSP Ziaul Haque's service pistol (.9mm calibre) and three empty shells related to the murder of village pradhan Nanhey Yadav from bushes in Balipur village where Yadav, his brother Suresh and the police officer were shot dead on March 2.

The recovery of the firearm and the shells, confirmed by CBI spokesperson RK Gaur, were made following interrogation of the pradhan's son and brother Pawan and suspended station officer (SO) of Hathigawan police station Manoj Shukla. The cartridges in the pistol belonging to Haque, who was the circle officer, have been found intact, which suggested that no gunshot was fired from the weapon, the sources said.

The pistol was found missing when the police had reached the spot after Haque's murder. His cellphone is also missing since then.

Meanwhile, two of the main accused named in pradhan Nanhey Yadav's murder case — Kamta Pal and his son Ajay Pal — appeared before CBI Saturday morning. They were absconding since the pradhan was shot dead. The two were undergoing interrogation.

The police officer's pistol and one empty shell of .315 bore and two of .38 bore were recovered from the bushes at a secluded place, which is about 20 metres away from the spot where the pradhan was shot dead. The bushes are about 500 metres away from the spot where Haque's body was found and the place is in opposite direction.

Both, the firearm and the shells were lying in the same bushes, added the sources.

The CBI team began a search for the pistol this morning after pradhan's son and brother Pawan reportedly told the agency that the pistol might be recovered somewhere in or around the village. They also had told the CBI officials that then SO Manoj Shukla can also help tracing the weapon. Shukla too was questioned and he was taken along during the search operation.

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