BHOPAL: As Munger -based AK-47 rifles gunrunning racket case gets murkier, the Madhya Pradesh Police Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested an employee of local defence establishment in Jabalpur town.
The arrested employee identified as Suresh Thakur, had allegedly supplied discarded AK-47 rifles and their parts to Purshottam Lal, a 54-year-old retired armourer, who in turn re-assembled them into functional assault rifles.
The condemned AK-47 rifles were carried out of the Army Base Workshop by Thakur in his personal car before being handed over to Purshottam.
The re-assembled rifles were transported by Purshottam in a train to Bihar and sold to notorious gunrunner Imran Alam for `5 lakh per rifle. While Purshottam had `4 lakh for himself, Thakur received `1 lakh, IG (Intelligence) of MP Police Makrand Deouskar told TNIE on Wednesday.
Imran Alam, who was arrested last week, is believed to have sold the rifles to criminal elements in the eastern state through his contacts.
Possibility of these supplies having reached the terror operatives and naxal extremists cannot be ruled out, informed sources confided, sources privy to investigations confided.
Both the arrested men are being questioned further by MP ATS and Jabalpur Police, added Deouskar.
According to Jabalpur District Police Superintendent Amit Singh, further probe is underway into the highly sensitive case and the involvement of more local defence establishment personnel cannot be ruled out at this moment.
Sources privy to investigations have revealed that around 70-100 condemned and discarded AK-47 rifles which were sent by the defence forces, central paramilitary forces and various state police's special forces for smelting could have been rendered out of the base workshop by Thakur to Purshottam along with various spares and parts for being re-assembled into freshly functional AK-47 rifles since 2012.
With the case becoming bigger following Thakur's arrest, the central intelligence agencies sleuths too have arrived in Jabalpur to dig deeper into the entire episode.