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17 pistols seized from youth

Bandel, July 5: In one of the largest hauls of crude firearms in recent times, police today arrested a youth and seized from him 17 country-made pistols, 10 of them loaded with .303 live ammunition.

The state police have instructed all police stations around Calcutta to tighten security as the haul comes a day before deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani’s visit here. Advani is scheduled to visit Belur Math and go on a river cruise tomorrow.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of seven policemen surrounded Madhab Mahato, 27, after he stepped off a Howrah-bound local train from Burdwan, carrying a large shopping bag.

“The arrested person is a resident of Bihar’s Munger district. He had left Jamalpur and was bound for this town,” district detective inspector Parimal Chandra Dey said.

During interrogation, Mahato revealed that he was bound for Shyamnagar, across the river from here, in North 24-Parganas. Mahato added that he was to deliver the arms to a receiver living in a slum.

Dey said the pistols, packed in a cardboard box, were being carried in a large shopping bag.

Mahato has told the police that the village where he comes from, there were many who were engaged in manufacturing firearms illegally. “He said that many persons are employed in gun-making and their products are sold as far off as Bangladesh,” Dey said.

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