Lending credence to the allegation of top leaders of opposition parties that Bengal is turning into a vast factory of crude bombs and firearms, police unearthed a factory in South 254 Parganas district and seized more than 100 guns and arrested five persons. Of them, four were residents of Bihar that has traditionally been a hub of illegal guns.
Nine kg of explosives was also seized. Police suspect these chemicals would have been used to make bombs.
The location was Rabindranagar which is only 17 km away from Kolkata.
Among those arrested is Aftab, who is the owner of the unit and the kingpin Rezaul Molla.
Significantly, manufacturing of firearms is a relatively easy process and requires just a lathe machine if one can supply skilled hands. Before the assembly polls in April-May, various top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the state has turned into a haven for crude bomb makers who took it to a cottage industry level.
Of the firearms found, 95 are one shotter handguns, two are 9 mm handguns and four are pipeguns.
On Monday itself, police managed to raid the factory. A special team raided the house in Rabindranagar and a few other spots in Bhangar, Canning, Watgunge.
District police super did not respond to HT’s calls on Monday and also chose to ignore text messages seeking information of the raid.
“We got the information from a tip off by a source, and first arrested Rezaul Molla from Canning on Monday. When we grilled him, we got the names of the others who also arrested,” said Sunil Kumar Chaudhury.
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Only Rezaul is a local. He lives in Jibontola in Canning which is about 50 kms from Rabindranagar. The rest are from Bihar.
Over the past one year, crude bombs were found in different districts such as Birbhum, South 24 Parganas, Burdwan, North Parganas. In October 2014 Birbhum about 800 crude bombs were found from a room in a primary health centre.
Significantly, after the October 2, 2014 Khagragarh incident, the police always remain apprehensive if bomb and firearm factories are busted and try to find out whether they have terror links and weapons are ferried to Bangladesh.