‘Key suspects comrades-in-arms from CPM,TMC’

Even as the alleged kingpin in the last month’s arms haul case continues to be at large,the Criminal Investigation Department probe has revealed he was a CPM supporter and his arrested accomplice was in touch with local Trinamool leaders.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 12, 2009 3:22:03 am

Even as the alleged kingpin in the last month’s arms haul case continues to be at large,the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe has revealed he was a CPM supporter and his arrested accomplice was in touch with local Trinamool leaders .

While Nimai Das is on the run,Ashok Mondal,who was arrested,appeared to be having clients among Trinamool supporters,CID sources said.

Mondal had stuck to a select client list that made it possible for him to continue the underground arms dealing since 2003,said sources. “There were four to five persons who would procure arms from Mondal,who doesn’t seem to have any Bangladesh connection. Most of his clients had Trinamool links and he used to smuggle in arms through the Nepal-Uttar Pradesh border,” said a source. “Both Mondal and Das were in touch and would also procure arms from each other to meet the orders they didn’t have in their personal inventory. Mondal says he has no idea of Das’ clients,” the source added.

In fact,the three pen-pistols recovered from the raid at Baguihati,along with more than 7,000 bullets and assorted weapons,were supplied to Mondal by Das,sources said,adding the pen-pistols appeared to have been manufactured indigenously. “They are very well made and are of high quality. No case of murder committed with a pen-pistol has ever been recorded in Bengal,” said sources.

The recovery of pen-pistols has set off apprehension among the security personnel,especially those involved in the VVIP security. Following a meeting of senior officials of the police and the Intelligence Bureau,a sensitisation exercise about this close-range weapon has been done among security personnel at the state secretariat at the Writers’ Buildings. “Now,pens being carried into meetings involving VVIPs will be subjected to random checks,” sources said.

Investigators have found that Das,a Group-IV casual employee with the the Rajarhat-Gopalpur Municipality,was building a two-storey house in the Baguihati area. “We believe he is in hiding within the state,” sources said.

Based on the interrogation of Mondal,the CID has carried out several raids since January 25,all in East Midnapore,including at the residence of a TMC-backed gram panchayat member Nandadulal Maity. Mondal had confessed to supplying 10 .315 rifles to Maity,who is also absconding. “The raids are being conducted. We cannot name anybody at the moment,” DIG (Operations) Siddh Nath Gupta said.

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