November 18, 2021 4:08:33 am
A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable serving in Pulwama since 2017 was among three people arrested by Jharkhand’s Anti-Terrorist Squad for allegedly supplying arms and ammunition to CPI (Maoist) cadre and other suspected criminals in the state.
The police said they supplied AK-47 and INSAS rifles to Maoists in “huge numbers”.
CRPF constable Avinash Kumar, 29, had been absent from work for the last four months. The police registered an FIR against him as well as construction contractors Pankaj Singh, 48, and Rishi Kumar, 49, on November 14. They invoked sections of the Arms Act, the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and multiple IPC sections. All three are from Bihar. The police have not disclosed the date and place of arrest.
ATS Superintendent of Police Prashant Anand said: “A gang is supplying arms and ammunition to the cadres of CPI (Maoists) and to the gangsters. After an initial investigation, we arrested three members of the gang, including CRPF constable Avinash Kumar with the help of Bihar ATS. As per our questioning till now, it has come on record that they supplied AK-47 and INSAS rifles in huge numbers to the CPI(Maoist) cadre. They have also supplied to gangsters.”
Anand said they also seized 450 live INSAS rifle rounds.
The police said the arrested constable was posted in the CRPF’s 182 Battalion in Pulwama. He was recruited from the Mokama Group Centre in 2011. Kumar had served in the CRPF’s 112 Battalion in Latehar and the 204 Cobra Battalion in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh before his 2017 Pukwama posting began.
The police said that the accused people worked with alleged gangster Aman Sahu, currently incarcerated in a Jharkhand jail, and two other suspected criminals, Harendra Yadav and Lallu Khan, who are lodged in Gaya jail.
One of the other two arrested persons, Rishi Kumar, worked as a transporter in the Hatia area and doubled up as a building contractor. According to the police, Rishi Kumar came in touch with two road construction contractors, Sanjay Singh and Muhahir, in Chaibasa-Saraikela area. “Maoists sourced their ammunition through this chain,” said a police source.
Suspect Pankaj Singh worked on coal and land contracts in Dhanbad.
Sanjay Singh, meanwhile, was also in touch with arms and ammunition contractors in Nagaland and Assam, apart from Jharkhand and Bihar. He is yet to be arrested.
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