Trinamool Congress demands CBI probe into R-Day arms seizure

February 3rd, 2009 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 3 (IANS) West Bengal’s main opposition party Trinamool Congress has sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the seizure of a huge cache of arms and ammunition here on the eve of the Jan 26 Republic Day celebrations.Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said her party has written to the Election Commission (EC) and the home ministry seeking the central agency’s intervention in the case.

The arms and ammunition seized include around 7,000 cartridges, 12 weapons and a bullet-proof jacket.

“We’ve written a letter both to the EC and the home ministry on Monday where we’ve said that these firearms and huge ammunition was brought into West Bengal for the coming Lok Sabha election,” Banerjee said a press conference here.

“I don’t have any faith in the state CID (Criminal Investigation Department), which is probing the case. CID is a state government-controlled investigative agency. They cannot carry out an investigation without being influenced by the government and the ruling party,” she added.

“How come such a huge volume of ammunition could be brought in the state without the knowledge of the state government? The central government should immediately seize these arms. Otherwise, they could be used by the (ruling) CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) cadres during the coming Lok Sabha polls.”

The police seized the arms during a raid on the house of a dealer in illegal arms in Baiguhati area. Ashok Mandal and five other associates were also arrested in West Bengal’s Malda district and brought to Kolkata for allegedly running an inter-state arms smuggling racket.

The police said the accused, including kingpin Ashok Mondal (52), had been selling arms to organised crime syndicates active in various parts of the state and also in Bihar and Jharkhand.

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