Murshidabad police on Sunday busted an inter-state arms smuggling racket and seized 15 pistols and 41 cartridges from three people near Dhulian Dak Bungalow crossing in the Shamserganj area. This is one of the major hauls in recent months. The 9 mm and 7 mm pistols were being carried in a car from Munger, Bihar. The arrested people are all residents of Kaliachak and Baishnabnagar areas of adjoining Malda district. Kaliachak and Baisnagnagar, located close to the Indo-Bangladesh border, have been identified as havens for gangs dealing in forged Indian currency notes (FICN), illegal arms and narcotics. Murshidabad SP Mukesh said,“We acted on a tip-off and intercepted an Ambassador car. One 9 mm and fourteen 7 mm pistols were found from the vehicle. The passengers, identified as Shariful Islam, Mosallim Sheikh and Saddam Hossain, are residents of different villages in Kaliachak and Baishnabnagar.”A senior officer of district police said: “There are gangs that run their own arms manufacturing units in Kaliachak and Baishnabnagar. But the arrested people told is that the consignment was coming from Munger district in Bihar. They were supposed to hand over the guns to an a local agent.”The SP said, “We have come to know that the arrested people were only working as couriers. But they have given us the names of those who sent the consignment. We have launched raids to nab the masterminds.”Smuggling of arms and ammunition has drastically gone up in recent months in Murshidabad. On April 6, a man was arrested at Suti with ten 7 mm pistols and 40 cartridges. On Mach 20, Shamserganj police arrested three men with five 9 mm pistols, 3 magazines and 20 cartridges.A senior district police officer said election to the newly formed Domkal municipality is likely to take place on May 14. Domkal has always been one of the most violence-prone zones in Murshidabad. “It’s quite possible that criminals have been hired to create terror before the civic polls,” he said.