Gang supplying arms to Maoists busted (Lead)May 2nd, 2011 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, May 2 (IANS) An inter-state gang trading in illegal weapons and supplying these to Maoists in other states was busted with the arrest of 15 people, including seven constables, Punjab Police said here Monday.
The arms were produced in illicit factories in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
“This gang was selling the weapons to gullible customers in different parts of Punjab. These weapons look like foreign-made arms. There were stamps and emblems of renowned armament factories on these weapons and they were sold as genuine arms,” Punjab Police chief P.S. Gill said here Monday.
“So far, we have recovered 270 pistols and about 6,000 cartridges. We have arrested 15 people but still 14 people of this gang are absconding. Till date, this gang has sold around 4,000 illegal weapons in Punjab and other states,” said Gill.
Gill said the gang supplied weapons to Maoists, and the gang members’ links with other terror groups were being investigated.
“They were also supplying arms to Maoists and leftist activists. Therefore, we have written to the home affairs ministry so that we can tie up with some central investigation agency to probe this case further. This will help us to conduct raids in other states also,” he added.
According to the police, the gang members, among them a woman, were arrested after a raid in Mansa district, some 250 km from here.
The police chief said the gang was set up by Mahesh Kumar, owner of India Gun House in Mansa, Arvinder Singh Pappu of Ludhiana, Anil Middha, owner of Hindustan Gun House in Sirsa, and Nand Kishore, owner of Tammana Armoury in Moga, and a few other persons.
He said that the gang was buying arms at Rs.35,000 per weapon and selling them for Rs.100,000 each after preparing forged documents and bills. The fake billing for the weapons was done in the name of gun dealers in Amritsar and Moga.
Gill said that the gang’s kingpin Anil Middha had close links with Maoist sympathisers in Bihar through Mahesh Kumar, owner of an illegal arms factory in Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh), which was unearthed by the Mansa police.
He said that Middha had six specially designed vehicles which were used to transport arms and ammunitions. Once his vehicle was intercepted by Patna police and a case was registered against him and his accomplices, including Maoist leaders. He was declared a proclaimed offender in that case.
“After a thorough verification of various arms and ammunition dealers’ records, a huge quantity of illegal arms are expected to be recovered in the coming days,” Gill said.
Gill also said that cartridges were found missing from stocks of Punjab Police.
“Such cases have come to our notice and we have ordered an overall audit of our stocks. We are looking into this matter. According to our information, a Punjab dealer gets a cartridge for Rs.8 and sells it to dealers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for Rs.30, and they further sell these for Rs.45 per cartridge,” stated Gill.
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Tags: amritsar, armament, armoury, central investigation agency, constables, emblems, gang members, gun dealers, home affairs ministry, illegal weapons, inter state, kingpin, madhya pradesh, maoist, maoists, moga, pappu, police chief, sirsa, terror groups