Patna police seized an AK-56 rifle, one Czechoslovakia made pistol and two Indian made pistols in an undercover operation in Kankarbagh locality, late on Monday evening.
Three persons were arrested in this connection. Police suspect that the arrested persons had connections with a Naxalite group and were regularly supplying arms to the ultras in Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattishgarh.
"It is a big break for the Patna police. We are investigating the case and trying to find out the connection of the accused with the ultras," said senior superintendent (SP), Patna, Amrit Raj. He added that 52 live cartridges and four magazines were also recovered from the arrested persons.
The arrested have been identified as Mantu Sharma alias Sanjay Singh alias Gendu (Aurangabad), Rakesh Singh and Babloo Kumar (both from Nalanda district). Mantu was residing at a rented house.
A police team led by the city SP Jayant Kant raided the Sharma's house after getting intelligence inputs about the suspects, who were holed up in a house at PC Colony, J sector. In course of the search, police recovered a .30 bore pistol from Sharma's possession.
During interrogation, he revealed the names of two associates and disclosed that a consignment of sophisticated arms and ammunition would arrive at his home from Giriyak police station area in Nalanda. The consignment reached the house within an hour, following which, the police team arrested Rakesh and Babloo and recovered an AK-56 rifle, magazine, two pistols and 52 live cartridges from an airbag.
Raj claimed that Sharma was earlier arrested by the Gandhi Maidan police twice in 2009 in connection with supply of arms and ammunition to Naxalite groups. Rakesh had also been arrested in a similar case lodged at Agamkuan police station in 2008.
Police sources said the arrested arms suppliers have revealed that they used to provide sophisticated weapons to Naxalite groups at a big price. They supplied AK-56 rifles to Maoists at Rs. 6 to Rs. 7 lakh and pistols at Rs. 1 lakh, said the SSP adding that the suppliers were trying to sell arms to an Andhra based Naxalite group.
He said the weapons supplied by them were either from Nepal or looted from the armed forces. The seized arms were being sent for ballistic examination, the SSP added.