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Arms supply to Maoists: 2 RFI officials held

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |


Six persons, including two Ishapore Rifle Factory (RFI) officials, were arrested by the Kolkata Police from the Babughat area here for their alleged involvement in smuggling arms to Maoists, the DC STF said on Sunday.

In a major breakthrough, the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police on Sunday unearthed an arms racket involving employees of the Ishapore Rifle Factory and arrested six persons in connection with supplying arms and ammunition to various terrorist outfits including Maoists.

Seven rifles including 4 Insas rifles and ten bullets have been seized from them. “Among the six held, two are residents of Bihar and the rest are from North 24 Parganas. Among them, the two claimed to be the “workshop managers” of the factory suspected to be involved in the armsgate, the DC STF Murli Dhar said.

Acting on a “tip-off” and armed with specific “intelligence input” a team of the city police’s STF wing on Sunday picked up six persons from Babughat in connection with the alleged supply of arms and ammunition to the suspected terrorist outfits including the Maoists from the North-east.

The officer said the STF arrested alleged arms smugglers Ajay Kumar Pandey and Jayasankar Pandey from Bihar’s Nalanda district and Umesh Roy and Kartik Shaw of Ichhapur in West Bengal’s North-24 Parganas district.

The DC STF said after interrogation of Ajay and Jayasankar, STF sleuths arrested RFI junior works managers Sushanta Basu and Sukhda Murmu from their Nawapara residences in North 24 Parganas district. They were arrested late last night for allegedly supplying the revolvers to them, he added.

“Based on the information by our source about a possible arms deal in the city, we had laid a trap and arrested four people from the Babughat area last evening,” he said.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the arms were smuggled out of the Ishapore Rifle Factory with the help of its two officers, he said.

Elaborating on their modus operandi, the DC STF Murli Dhar said the racket was probably active since 2008 and was supplying arms and ammunition to Maoists in Bihar.

“They (the arrested) used to smuggle out parts of the arms scrapped by the rifle factory and these smugglers used to mend and sell them to Maoists in Bihar,” he said Sleuths are also probing whether they had supplied arms to insurgent groups in Nepal, the officer said.