Police on Friday night recovered several firearms including a rocket launcher, a rocket and an AK-47 rifle from Khatanga village under Kotshila police station in Purulia. The arms which were recovered from a crematorium were believed to be hidden by local criminals. Police are, however, investigating whether the weapons were part of the 1995 arms drop case as the incident had taken place in the same area.
Police have arrested two criminals, Ashok Pramanik and Jalaluddin Sheikh, a week ago. After interrogating the two accused, police came to know that the arms were kept hidden underground and conducted a search operation at Khatanga village on Friday night.
A 9 mm carbine, two magazines and couple of bullets were seized from Jamaluddin’s possession during his arrest. Police said that the accused were arms dealers. They were being interrogated by the police in this connection.
A senior police officer in the district said that acting on a tip-off, they arrested two persons and after interrogating them they came to know about the firearms. The district police have been providing information to the CID who has been assigned to probe into the incident.
“We have started investigation into the matter. We are taking assistance from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to ascertain if there is any link between the 1995 Purulia arms drops case and these firearms recovery,” he maintained.
On December 17 in 1995, a huge cache of unauthorised firearms were dropped in Purulia district from an Antonov An-26 aircraft. Few of those arms were landed at Khatinga village as well. A huge cache of firearms which was meant for supply to terror groups, were recovered from Purulia after it was air dropped. The matter was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Meanwhile, the CRPF’s COBRA force on Friday midnight recovered as many as four powerful landmines from Belpahari along the Bengal-Jharkhand border in West Midnapore district.
The two mines were recovered from Hatiara and other two from Jharkhand border area. The security has been beefed up in the area after the incident. Joint forces were conducting raids in the nearby villages.