Thursday, December 14, 2006

'Maoists buy cartridges for Rs 110 each'

'Maoists buy cartridges for Rs 110 each'
Gyan Prakash

PATNA: Cartridges are now sold to extremist outfit, Communist Party of India (Maoist), @ Rs 110 per cartridge.

This revelation was made by Raju Kumar, Ramu Kumar and 40-year-old Nilu Devi during their interrogation by the police. The trio were caught by the Bakhtiarpur police on Saturday following a tip-off provided by the state intelligence wing, special branch.

Police sources said the trio, carrying a bag containing 380 cartridges of .315 bore, were arrested from a famous motel in Champapur village under the Bakhtiarpur police station where they had gone in a Wagon R to strike a deal with the buyer.

As they took out the bag, the waiting policemen in civvies swooped on them.

The sources said Ramu used to take the cartridges to the Naxalite-hit areas such as Bhagwanganj, Masaurhi and Jehanabad while Raju acted as the middleman. He used to get something between Rs 15 and Rs 20 from the Maoists as commission on every cartridge.

Police said these cartridges were brought from Kanpur from one Sushil Kumar, who is popularly known among arms dealers as S Kumar.

S Kumar had an arms dealership in Biharsharif but he had abandoned the shop and shifted his base to Kanpur as his illegal deals and links with Maoists became public.

After the dust settled on the matter, S Kumar opened a plastic shop at the same place in Biharsharif to camouflage his illegal deals.

This plastic shop was being looked after by Ramu, a local resident. Sources said Raju had purchased the cartridges for the Bakhtiarpur deal from Kanpur for Rs 90 each.

As for the role of Nilu, the sources said she was phua (aunt) of Raju and was accompanying them to make it look like a family trip.

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