January 26, 2009 3:09:45 am
Seven members of an inter-state arms smuggling gang were arrested from a house near Harishchandrapur in Malda during a joint raid by the police and Criminal Investigation Departments (CID) special operation group on Sunday. Initial investigation has revealed that the gang had supplied arms to Maoists during the Nandigram violence in 2007.
All the accused were produced before the Alipore Chief Judicial Magistrates court and were remanded in police custody for a week,a senior CID officer said.
The arms smugglers had come to Malda on a tour and were staying at the house for the last couple of days,said Satyajit Banerjee,Superintendent of Police,Malda.
A CID officer said several complaints of extortion,murder,attempt to murder and arms smuggling were lodged against the kingpin of the racket,Ashok Mondal,in North and South 24 Parganas. Earlier,he was arrested in Tamluk but was later released on bail,the officer added.
The gang reportedly used to smuggle sophisticated arms from Belgium and had been selling them to organised crime syndicates in Bengal and also in the neighbouring states of Bihar and Jharkhand.
The police hope that other members of the gang and those who received arms from them will be arrested soon.
The gang was brought to Bhawani Bhawan after they were remanded in police custody. They were interrogated by our special operation group officers, a senior CID officer said.
Based on interrogation inputs,the CID raided a Kestopur club,Jana Kalyan Samiti,late in the night and seized 6,000 rounds of ammunition and 16 country-made rifles.
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