September 27, 2020

Bengal cops seek arms kingpin location

Patna: A Bengal police team has contacted their counterparts in Bihar to trace the whereabouts of an alleged kingpin of a well-knit gang allegedly involved in supply of illegal firearms to different insurgent groups operating in the northeastern states.

Sources said the Bengal team was searching for a few close associates of Ajay Pandey alias Guddu Pandit and Jay Shankar Pandey, who were among the six persons arrested by the Calcutta police’s special task force from Rifle Factory Ishapore (RFI) in North 24 Parganas district, 35km from Calcutta, on Monday.

The members of the team carried out raids at the hideouts of the arms dealers in Patna and Nawada districts based on the leads that they obtained during interrogation of the six arms suppliers.

The inspector-general (operations) Kundan Krishnan, however, feigned ignorance about the visit of the Calcutta STF. “I have no idea about it. No police official from Calcutta has contacted us so far. We are ready to provide full cooperation to the Calcutta police if they need so,” Kundan, who is also heading the state STF, said on Thursday.

A senior police officer said the alleged kingpin of the racket, Guddu Pandit, was a resident of Nalanda but he recently shifted base to National Highway-83 near Bodhgaya in Gaya district. Pandit reportedly owned a cattle-shed there.

The officer, who didn’t wish to be named, said the cattle-shed in Bodhgaya was being used to provide illegal arms to Maoists and members of gangs involved in organised crime in the state. Pandit stepped into arm deals around six years back and has developed inter-state links.

Jay Shankar Pandey, who was also arrested with Pandit, worked for the gang led by Pandit. Ajay alias Guddu was allegedly arrested by the STF in 2011 in connection with a case related to smuggling of illegal weapons. The STF had no records to show that the kingpin was arrested earlier.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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