Kolhan DIG Mohammed Nehal (right) with the seized arms at Adityapur police station on Thursday. (Animesh Sengupta)
An illegal gun manufacturing unit, which was being run by a man from Bihar right under the nose of Adityapur police for five years, was unearthed on Thursday when a Patna police team came calling.
Four persons were arrested and 102 pieces of semi-finished pistols and four lathe machines used for making guns were recovered during a raid by Patna police with help from their Adityapur counterparts at a factory in the industrial area’s phase VII around 8.30am. The mini ‘gun factory’ was running under the name of Vijay Laxmi Enterprises at a hall on the premises of Krishna Enterprises.
The arrested are the kingpin, Rakesh Sharma, who resides in Adityapur’s Sahara Gardens but hails from Munger district of Bihar where he ran another unit, Mohammed Ibrar and Mohammed Miraz Alam, both from Munger, and Mohammed Afroz Alam of Jamui district in Bihar. They were busy manufacturing guns when the raid took place.
Factory owner Krishna Kumar, a resident of Bagbera, managed to escape.
Deputy inspector-general (DIG), Kolhan, Mohammed Nehal said a special task force (STF) of Patna had received a tip-off that Sharma (28) was running the illegal gun manufacturing company at Adityapur. Acting on that information, the Patna STF team, led by sub-inspector Afshar Hussain, came to Adityapur and busted the racket .
“Sharma has a huge network in the underworld and was operating from both Munger and Adityapur. At Adityapur, different kinds of pistols and revolvers were manufactured while the firearms were given finishing touches at another unit in Munger,” the Kolhan DIG said.
Starting from katta (a single-shot pistol) to sophisticated nine MM pistols, a wide range of firearms was being manufactured at Adityapur. “Once a pistol was ready, they would inscribe tags like ‘Made in USA’, ‘Made in Bulgaria’ or ‘Made in China’ and get them sold through a supply channel manned by one Mohammed Ekram in Munger,” he added.
Police are looking for Ekram.
Sharma’s father also ran an arms manufacturing unit at Munger, but was murdered five years ago. Sharma subsequently shifted to Adityapur for running his ‘family business’. “The accused obtained the raw materials from Calcutta and sold them through various agents in Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal,” Nehal said.
Asked how come Adityapur police didn’t know about the illegal firearms unit while their Patna counterparts had all information from afar, Nehal said that since it was operating in the garb of a factory on the premises of another factory, it was difficult for them to keep track.
“We will take the four arrested in police remand to ascertain whether they had supplied the guns to Naxalites,” he added.