BHOPAL: A joint operation by Bihar and Madhya Pradesh police has led to an alleged interstate racket that re-assembles discarded and disused AK-47 rifles into functional assault weapons that are then supplied to shady and criminal elements in Bihar.
Two men, including Imran Alam (42), a gunrunner based in Munger, Bihar, and Purshottam Lal, a 54-year-old retired armourer of the Indian Army living in Madhya Pradesh, have been arrested in the operation launched on August 29.
While Imran, who had been arrested in 2000 also by cops in Jamalpur town of Bihar, was arrested by Bihar police from Munger railway station on August 29, Purshottam was arrested from Mangawan area of Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday night.
Investigations based on questioning of the duo have revealed that Purshottam, who retired from the Army as Nayab Armourer in 2008, used his contacts possibly in some ordnance factory to source discarded or disused assault rifles sent there by the Army, paramilitary forces and police forces for smelting.
The retired soldier then re-assembled them into functional AK-47 rifles, which were then supplied to gunrunner Imran in Bihar to be supplied to shady and criminal elements in Bihar, sources privy to the ongoing investigations told The New Indian Express on Tuesday.
The probe has revealed that since 2012, Purshottam has re-assembled the sourced weapons into more than 70 functional AK-47 rifles and supplied them to Imran. The rifles were sold by Imran for prices ranging up to Rs 5 lakh each.
Purshottam, who is in MP police custody, is being grilled by cops to dig deeper into the racket.
The ongoing probe is likely to expose Purshottam’s contacts who had helped him source the discarded assault rifles since 2012. During his tenure as armourer, Purshottam has been posted in strategic locations, including Nashik and Jabalpur.
If sources in MP police are to be believed, the Bihar police have informed the National Investigation Agency and Intelligence Bureau about the matter.