A team of custom department and police in Purnia, Bihar seized a huge cache of live cartridges and the spare parts of the Myanmar Army’s three AK-47 rifles and two under-barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs) after breaking the doors, dashboard, roof, seats and footsteps of a Tata Safari car, which was seized from Baisi district in Purnia on February 7.
The vehicle was intercepted in Baisi district by the police patrolling team suspecting illegal liquor smuggling on Thursday.
According to the Additional Director General of Police (headquarters), Kundan Krishnan, during the routine checking, the police officials initially found 600 live cartridges in the vehicle. On the basis of which they arrested three arms smugglers- V R Kahornagam, Clearson Kavo (both from Ukhrul in Manipur) and Suraj Prasad from Pipra Basant in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Following the State police headquarters instruction, thorough checking of the vehicle was initiated after which the police further recovered various parts of unassembled AK-47 and UBGLs and 1000 additional cartridges which were hidden in specially built boxes inside the vehicle.
It is being suspected that these weapons were to be used to carry out violent acts before the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
During interrogation, the three arrested persons confessed that they used to supply arms and weapons to Mukesh Singh of Patna and Santosh Singh of Bhojpur, Kundan Krishnan (ADGP) said.
The police raided Mukesh Singh’s house in Patna on Saturday and seized 50 cartridges, he said. Mukesh has been absconding since then, Kundan confirmed.
Bihar police are also contemplating of handing over the case to the Central agency as arms had the ‘MA’ mark engraved which shows that the arms belonged to the Myanmar Army and have been smuggled into India, the ADGP added.
Hitherto known to be a hub of illegal arms manufacturing, Bihar police had in October last year busted a large scale arms smuggling racket in Bihar, and had recovered several AK-47 rifles and hundreds of spare parts stashed away in wells, river beds and abandoned houses across the state. The rifles were smuggled to Bihar’s Munger district.
Meanwhile, Munger district in Bihar which has infamously emerged as the centre of such illegal manufacturing of high-quality advanced arms and ammunition for the last several decades had been in news for yet another huge arms smuggling racket involving smuggling of weapons condemned by the Army in December last year.
Munger is infamous for its illegal arms factories. Munger police have earlier busted one such racket involving a nexus between officers of Jabalpur’s Central Ordnance Depot and local arms dealers.