The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started a preliminary enquiry into a possible scam in the procurement of a special kind of bag used to transport propellant fuel from one place to another. The propellant in question is used in missile systems such as Nag, Pinaka, Akash and Trishul.

Sources in the CBI say that the propellant is manufactured at the ordnance factory in Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh, from where it is further sent to the ammunition factory in Pune or to the ordnance factory in Khamaria, Jabalpur.

“A special rubber bag is used to transport the propellant, which is the main component required for the missile to attain the required speed and elevation. We have received inputs that some government officials, in connivance with private individuals, bought low quality bags at a higher price,” an official said.

Sources said that the bags were tested in the Pune-based high explosive research laboratory, and were found to be of poor quality and not matching the desired standards. The Itarsi factory had bought 1,600 such bags in 2007.

Since the matter pertains to the Ministry of Defence, the investigating agency is working overtime to complete its preliminary inquiry to identify the erring officials and fix responsibility.

“We have collected the relevant documents and have started questioning the concerned officials. As soon as the results of the preliminary enquiry are ready we will take appropriate action,” an official familiar with the investigation said.

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