LUCKNOW: On Thursday, a district court granted the Lucknow police a three-day remand of KM Tripathi, beginning at 11 am on Friday. The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) arrested KM Tripathi on November 1st from his home after he was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 70,000 from a contractor. The remand will expire at 10:59 am on November 9, 2009. Tripathi is the chief regional manager (CRM) of the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). During the subsequent search of his Mall Avenue Road home, investigators found nearly two kilograms of gold and silver jewelry along with precious stones and gems valued at several lakhs of rupees. The CBI also opened an investigation into bribery and disproportionate assets, and a case was filed with the Hazratganj police under the provisions of the Arms Act and Excise Act. These accusations were made in relation to the 9 mm pistol and bottles of expensive, branded alcohol that were in excess of the allowed amounts. On Tuesday, the Lucknow police filed a request for Tripathi’s police remand with a designated district court on the grounds that during his initial interrogation at the time of his arrest, the accused claimed to have purchased the prohibited bore pistol from a person in Gorakhpur. The police stated in their application before the court that under the current circumstances, the only way to move forward with the investigations into the firearm recovery case was to escort Tripathi to the person from whom he claims to have purchased the firearm. In his statements to the police, Tripathi had allegedly maintained that neither he knew the address of the man from whom he bought the firearm nor had the channel to approach him by phone. The remand period will begin on Saturday at 11 am, according to Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)/Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Lucknow, Prem Prakash. It should be noted that the 9 mm pistol is a restricted barrel firearm used by the security agencies including the police. “A police team has been formed to escort him to Gorakhpur to round up the person who, he claims, had sold the pistol to him,” Prem Prakash added. No licensing agency in Uttar Pradesh has the jurisdiction to grant a license for this bore. Police sources previously told TOI that the weapon was likely the one that was stolen from a police sub-inspector in Gorakhpur at some point. Reports at the time of the crime suggested that those responsible for the robbery of the police officer were connected to a former mafia member turned powerful politician. The detectives reportedly abandoned the investigation at that time because they anticipated controversy in the event that the police stormed the mafia’s home but were unable to find the weapon there.
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