Though the Faridkot police on Thursday claimed to have arrested two gangsters related to the imported weapons smuggling case, it has chose not to disclose names of the buyers, whom it claims are usually wealthy and influential.
The accused, who were arrested near Chaha; Road, were identified as Ranjit Singh Dupla, who is allegedly the kingpin of the racket, and his accomplice Gurcharan Singh alias Rinka. Dupla allegedly sells these illegal weapons to gangsters in the state and markets them as 'genuine' in connivance with some arms dealers.
Dupla is a resident of Barnala district while Gurcharan Singh Rinka belongs to Faridkot town.
Ranjit has about eight cases against him including the one registered on Wednesday while Rinka has about 10 cases against him registered at different place in the state.
The arrests were made after the police had signaled two speeding vehicles - a Hyundai Verna and a jeep - coming from Talwandi to stop at a checkpoint.
According to the police, the occupants started firing instead of stopping after which the police returned fire and arrested Dupla and Gurcharan while Gurpreet Singh Sekhon, also an infamous gangster, and his three accomplices fled the spot in the cover of the dark.
Surprisingly, neither was anyone from the police party injured nor was any vehicle damaged.
The police said that it recovered two very expensive imported weapons from the possession of the accused besides `20 lakh cash.
But in less than 15 hours, the police recovered eight more weapons from Chandigarh and Delhi.
"On the further interrogation of the accused, the police recovered eight more imported weapons including a Beretta rifle worth around `22 lakh, one Finnish rifle worth around `10 lakh from Delhi and Chandigarh," the police said.
Though Paramraj Singh Umranangal, inspector general of Bathinda zone admitted that the police had recovered only two weapons from the possession of Dupla and Gurcharan and eight were recovered after interrogation, he chose not to disclose the names of the buyers, whom the police admitted were usually rich or influential.
"The accused pass the weapons as genuine in connivance of the arms dealers and the buyers did not know the genuineness of the weapons, so those persons are not accused," the IG said when asked if the buyers of the smuggled weapons were also not responsible for the crime.
On the role of arms dealers, the IG said that the investigation is going on and if someone is found guilty he/she would not be spared.
"These accused have connections in the neighboring states and the weapons were smuggled through Burma to Uttar Pradesh from where they are brought into Punjab. The weapons were allegedly supplied to the gangsters in Punjab and sold to the rich persons at very high prices," the IG said.
The police said raids in neighboring states are also being conducted bust the inter-state racket.
Earlier too, the police had claimed to have recovered weapons worth `4 crore but chose to hide the names of the buyers.