| Illegal Munger-made arms seized during a raid in March in Patna. Telegraph picture |
Munger-made guns are steadily getting into the hands of terror outfits.
A Punjab police team is camping in Bihar to ascertain the alleged links of Munger-based illegal arms suppliers with those of terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, following the arrest of an arms dealer in Punjab last week.
Two pistols, bearing “made in USA” mark were recovered by Government Railway Police officials from the possession of one Ravesh-Ul-Islam near Pathankot in Punjab on Friday. Ravesh, a native of Jammu and Kashmir, was caught while travelling by Jammu Tawi Express to Jammu.
During interrogation, Ravesh (25), an active member of the banned militant outfit operating in Jammu and Kashmir, told the interrogators that he had purchased the weapons from a Munger-based arms dealer. For the purpose, he visited Varde village near Jamalpur in Munger. The weapons were purchased for Rs 35,000 each.
Sources in the state police headquarters said the special task force (STF) of Bihar police has been asked to cooperate with the visiting Punjab team headed by an inspector-rank officer.
The STF officers refused to divulge information about the operation against the arms dealers having links with militant outfits for obvious reasons. “We are not supposed to share information on sensitive matters such as links of the terror outfit with the arms dealers of the state. These are sensitive issues and not meant for public consumption,” said a DSP-rank officer, who has been assigned to cooperate with the Punjab team.
On being pestered, inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar, who is in-charge of the STF, admitted that the Punjab police officers had shared information with the state police in that regard a few days ago. On Hizbul’s links, he said: “We have some information, which are being verified.”
Sources said illegal weapons manufactured in Munger-based gun factories were stamped with “made in USA” tags to fetch higher prices in the market. A .32mm country-made pistol or 9mm revolver with the “made in USA” or “made in Germany” tags is sold at anything between Rs 35,000 and Rs 45,000 in the open market.
A senior IPS officer, who is monitoring the operation against illegal arms deals, revealed that the demand of Munger-based weapons in Jammu and Kashmir indicated that Kashimiri militant groups were not getting regular supply of weapons from Pakistan. “Had it not been the case, the Hizbul members would not have sought the help of their arms couriers operating in Munger,” he said.
Investigations have revealed that Ravesh was assigned the task by Hizbul commander Zuber to procure guns from Munger. Earlier, Ravesh’s cousin Abid used to carry the weapons from Bihar.