On the eve of the 'Bharat Bandh' called by the Maoists, the police on Tuesday busted an arms supply racket with the arrest of nine persons from in and around the Steel City here and seized a large cache of arms and ammunition.
Thirteen piece of 7.65 mm pistols, 13 magazines, a revolver of six round, 443 assprted cartridges including 36 of AK-47 and 31 of Insas were seized from the arrested men, Senior Superintendent of Police, Navin Kumar Singh said.
Three motorcycles, nine cellphones and Rs 2.30 lakh in cash was also recovered from them, Singh told a press conference in presence of Superintendent of Police (city) Jatin Narwal.
Singh said the police arrested three of them during a transaction of the arms on a highway. The three -- Pradip Kumar Pandey and Rohit Karmakar of Dalbhumgarh in East Singhbhum, and Baidhnath Mardi of West Midnapore district of West Bengal -- were stated to be the main link between the Maoists and armed suppliers.
After interrogating them, the police arrested others.
Gandhar Ojha and Lal Babu Singh, both residents of Bhojpur district of Bihar, used to get arms from Munger and other places and Premlal and Kunal used to procure cartridges.
The other persons arrested were Manik Chandra Besra and Sidhu Mahto, residents of Kamalpur and MGM police station areas respectively, he said.
The SSP said the Maoists used to collect the arms on national highways and used the motor cycles for carrying them.
Singh said the firearms were procured at Rs 10,000 each and sold at Rs 20,000 to 25,000 to the ultras.