Patna: Rajesh Kumar, alias Munna, a member of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, has been arrested on charges of supplying stolen rifles to the Maoists.
A joint team of Calcutta police’s special task force (STF) and Nalanda police on Tuesday raided Ramchandrapur under Rahui police station in Nalanda district and arrested Munna. Laheri police station house officer Santosh Kumar said Munna was taken to Calcutta on a three-day transit remand. He has been accused of supplying stolen rifles to Maoists in Jharkhand and other parts of the country.
Nalanda district president Bharat Prasad Singh confirmed Munna is a block unit president of the party but said he was innocent.
The rifles were allegedly stolen from the rifle factory in Ishapore, around 28km from Calcutta, last month and sold to Maoists. The Calcutta team had swung into action after some rifles and spare parts went missing.
“The police team was camping in Nalanda for the past two days. We cooperated with the team and handed over the accused,” he said.
Munna is considered close to Ajay Kumar Pandey, alias Panditji, and his associate Jai Shankar Pandit who were among the six persons arrested by the Calcutta STF.
A member of the Calcutta STF later revealed that Munna, in his early 40s, was the Maoist linkman in the arms-smuggling racket thriving for long. He used to buy an Insas rifle for Rs 1.5-Rs 2 lakh through the Bengal rifle factory officials and sell it to the Maoists for Rs 3 lakh-Rs 3.5 lakh, making a profit of about 70,000 on every deal.
He has allegedly confessed to have sold 15 such rifles to the Maoists and other gangsters in the last decade. “I can’t recall the exact number of rifles sold to the Maoists,” the police quoted him as saying.
Munna allegedly told the interrogators that he was involved in the sale of small weapons too. “I came in contact with the Maoists of Jharkhand in 2004 during my imprisonment, on charges of kidnapping. I met Rajesh in jail,” a Calcutta police officer quoted Munna as saying.
The officer, on the condition of anonymity, said Munna frequently visited Calcutta to meet the other racketeers. “We have sufficient evidence to show that Munna has been involved in inter-state arms racket for over a decade,” he said, adding that Nalanda has of late become a haven for the People’s Liberation Front of India.
An IPS officer, who had earlier served as Nalanda superintendent of police, said Ramchandrapur was a den of arms suppliers. “Illegal weapons of all kinds are available on the black market there,” he said, adding that Munna entered the world of crime to avenge his father’s murder in 2004.
Courtesy: The Telegraph