Saturday, October 14, 2006

Arms haul has state link


Arms haul has state link
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Friday, October 13, 2006 23:12 IST

KOLKATA: The biggest-ever seizure of anti-personnel mines and ammunition, originally belonging to the Indian army in Kolkata on Thursday evening, has changed the basic line of anti-insurgency investigations and action.

The seized items, which included 543 non-metallic model 14 anti-personnel mines, 691 pieces of 9 mm ball ammunition, 340 pieces of 7.62 ball ammunition, 58 pieces of .303 ammunition and three pieces of 5.56 INSAS ammunition, were destined for the Maoists active in three districts of West Bengal

The situation has become even more complicated as investigations revealed that the seized ammunition were manufactured at the ordnance factory in Maharashtra and not from the Ichapore Ordnance Factory in West Bengal as reported earlier.

This finding has forced agencies to investigate whether a cooperation programme has been established between the Maoist forces here and the Islamic terrorists in Maharashtra, especially Mumbai.

According to army spokesman Wing Commander RK Das, the investigating agencies have got definite clues that the seized items were destined for the Maoist guerrillas in West Bengal.

"However, we do not rule out the possibility of involvement of terrorist groups in this connection. A number of terrorist forces are active in and around Kolkata and there is a possibility of their involvement in this matter," Das said.

Three persons have been arrested in connection with the seizure, which include an army person, Lance Naik Bijit Sardar and two civilians Sujit Sardar and Swarup Sardar.

According to a senior IB official, till now counter-insurgency process followed the simple line of "seek, arrest and if necessary destroy". "However, the seizure is forcing us to look at the investigation process from the 360 degree angle and our action now would be multi-faced," he said.

The IB official pointed out that from preliminary investigations it is clear that a nexus between four parties have developed over the theft of huge amount of army ammunition.

"These four parties are the Maoists or other extremist forces, arms dealers, defense personnel and ordnance factory employees. It is clear that such a huge quantity of ammunition has been replaced from ordinance factories over a period of time and this is not possible unless defense personnel and ordinance factory employees are involved with the process," he said.


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Source: DNA

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