GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
»
2-min read

Six Held for Smuggling Arms Out of Bengal Ordnance Factory; INSAS Rifles May Have Reached Maoists

The factory makes INSAS assault rifles for security forces, as well as other sophisticated self-loading rifles.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:May 7, 2018, 9:57 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Six Held for Smuggling Arms Out of Bengal Ordnance Factory; INSAS Rifles May Have Reached Maoists
Revolvers and rounds of ammunitions seized from the possession of the accused. (Photo: New18)
Kolkata: A Special Task Force of Kolkata Police busted an arms and ammunition racket that is suspected of supplying guns to Maoists, other criminal groups and insurgency outfits from the Rifle Factory Ishapore, which is a unit of the Indian Ordnance Factories under the Ministry of Defence.

Two workers of the factory and four others were arrested on Sunday evening for smuggling the rifles out of the factory. The factory makes INSAS assault rifles for security forces, as well as other sophisticated self-loading rifles.

Sushanta Basu and Sukhda Murmu, the two factory workers, were arrested from their homes in Noapara in North 24-parganas, while the other four accused - Ajay Kumar Pandey, Jayasanker Pandey, Umesh Roy and Kartick Shaw – were arrested from Babughat area in central Kolkata after a tip-off, police said.

The involvement of other factory workers in this racket, which could have been operating for almost a decade, is also being probed.

DCP of the Special Task Force, Murlidhar Sharma, told News18 that seven revolvers, one carbine and 10 rounds of ammunitions were seized from their possession. “They have confessed that all items were smuggled out of the Rifle Factory,” he said.

“All of them were booked under section 413 (dealing in stolen property) and 120 B (party to criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code read with 25/27 (1AA) of the Arms Act. We are planning to write a letter to the officials concerned regarding security lapses at the factory. This is a serious issue and needs immediate attention,” he added.

The incident has brought security arrangements at Ordnance Factory, which is one of the high security zones in the state, under scanner.

The Ishapore factory is manned by private security guards and not by the CISF. Sources maintained that due to the sheer volume of employees working in the factory, frisking each and every worker is impossible.

Also, there are serious lapses in maintaining records of all scarp items kept in the factory store. “Usually, before auctioning of scrap items of arms and ammunitions, it’s mandatory to cut all items into small pieces. But here we have to check whether the usual norms were followed,” a senior police officer said.

This is not for the first time when an employee of Ishapore Rifle Factory has been caught for smuggling. On September 21 last year, STF of Kolkata Police had arrested Sambhu Bhattacharjee (49), a junior works manager, for allegedly smuggling out parts of 5.56 mm Insas rifles, 7.62 mm SLRs and selling them to illegal arms manufacturers. One of his associates, Deepak Shaw, was also subsequently arrested.

Also Watch

| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
Read full article