Arms Act

Calcutta, Jan. 17: Police may find it hard to make the graver charges stick on Arabul Islam in the absence of "hard evidence", senior officers said today.

"No investigation was initiated to find evidence that can prove the non-bailable charges. The charges mention firearms, other deadly weapons and explosives. But none of these has been found from the accused," said an officer.

Among the eight charges drawn up against Arabul, four are non-bailable offences ' attempt to murder, possessing or exposing firearms, manufacturing or using explosives and causing hurt by dangerous weapons.

One of the officers handling the case conceded that there was no material or physical evidence against the former MLA. Other senior officers not investigating the case concurred with him. The Telegraph lists what the officers said about each non-bailable charge:

Possessing or brandishing firearms: The officers pointed out that no weapon was found on Arabul. "So, how do you prove the charge that Arabul was carrying a weapon, let alone firing from one, when you cannot produce it in court?" an officer asked.

He pointed out that the police should have conducted a thorough investigation at the spot where the attacks took place on January 6 and January 8 to collect evidence like empty shells of cartridges or record statements of eyewitnesses.

"It doesn't appear that the investigation was conducted seriously," the officer said. South 24-Parganas SP Praveen Tripathi refused to comment.

Indian Explosives Act: No bomb or splinters were collected from the spot. Forensic experts were not sent to the spot. Even in the absence of splinters they could have found out whether bombs were used.

Causing hurt by using dangerous weapons: Other than firearms, dangerous weapons generally mean knife, dagger, bhojali or any sharp object. The police have not yet seized a single such weapon from Arabul.

If the above three charges get quashed in court, the most stringent charge ' attempt to murder ' may not stand scrutiny in court, an officer said.

"With what weapon did Arabul try to carry out a murder, a court may well ask," the officer said. "This could be a valid question."

According to another officer, if no firearm, explosive or other dangerous weapon is found on an accused, the police try to prove him guilty with the help of circumstantial evidence.

"But this largely depends on the investigating personnel," the officer said. "If they react promptly and carry out a thorough search, chances are that they might find something clinching. This effort appears to have been missing in this case. Now it may be too late to collect evidence."

An officer explained that lapses take place sometimes when the investigators feel that the "political leadership" is not interested in pursuing a case. "With senior ministers speaking up for Arabul, what is the district police expected to do?"

Citing the initial report submitted by Tripathi, the SP, to the home department on the arson attack at Bamanghata, the officer said: "He mentioned nothing about firing in his findings even though a young man was injured. A district police chief's findings are considered to be the main police investigation."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »