Terror plot trail leads to shooting range

The Karni Singh Shooting Range that is hosting the National Shooting Championships in Tuglakabad had an unusual visitor on Saturday – Rajendra Chaudhary alias Samundar Singh, accused of planting a bomb on the Samjhauta Express in 2007. The reason why Chaudhary was taken to the shot-gun range, the 25 metre range and the 50 metre range by the National Investigation Agency officials was because it had come to light that he underwent a training programme run by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).

Though the day's shooting events had been completed by the time Chaudhary was brought to the range as part of the on-going investigation, news soon got around about the profile of the unusual visitor. The talk among the officials was about whether or not it will now get even tougher for shooters to procure ammunition as the chain of investigation around Chaudhary had lead to the NRAI.

NRAI president Raninder Singh said that the shooting body would extend full support to the investigation. "With regards to any matter of law and order the NRAI is duty bound to co-operate with any or all investigative agencies. The law must take its own course. The NRAI is concerned only with the conduct of Olympic sports in India," Singh said.

On being asked about the background verification process done before trainees are inducted, an official on the condition of anonymity said, "He (Rajendra) had provided a valid driving license and other requisite paperwork needed to get an entry for the shooting course. We can only verify the genuineness of the applications and papers submitted and his paper work was complete."

The official also confirmed that Chaudhary had enrolled for the shooting programme in April, 2006 and he had paid a fee of Rs 75.

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