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Thursday, 4 September 2008

Police unearthed an arms-manufacturing unit at a remote village in Bishnupur

Following a trail after the arrest of a notorious criminal, South 24-Parganas police unearthed an arms-manufacturing unit at a remote village in Bishnupur early on Sunday. Five persons were arrested for their involvement in the gun-running racket and a huge cache of arms was recovered. The arrests proved that, apart from arms made from Munger, a major quantum of illegal arms are also produced in various parts of Bengal. Jatan Naiyer of Noorshikdarchak village had been making guns for the last five years, armed with only two tools: an iron-cutting machine and a welding machine. The village is around 18 km from Baruipur Road. Naiyer and his two sons, Biswajit and Sanjit, earned their name in the murky underworld for their products. The recent arrest of Prasant Khan, a notorious criminal of Bishnupur, along with his associate Mohan Gayen, provided the first lead in the case. Police seized two guns from them, and Jatan’s name surfaced during interrogations. According to the police, the two confessed to having bought the guns from Jatan. District police superintendent Ajey Ranade soon formed a special team and raided the village in the wee hours of Sunday. Police uncovered a small workshop behind Naiyer’s home, where eight single-barrel guns and seven short-barrel pipe guns were found, along with ammunition. A probe revealed that the 50-year-old Naiyer used to make guns from iron pipes used in bicycles and cycle vans. According to police, the gun barrels were made of iron pipes. The father-sons trio has even given a demonstration to cops as to how they made the guns. The iron-cutter was used to shape the rods into a barrel. Powerful springs were then used to attach the barrel with the trigger, made from spare nuts. The barrels were perforated with a drilling machine. Unlike other improvised guns, Jatan fixed the guns with wooden butts. “Jatan probably purchased the butts. There are a few families who do outsourced jobs for the ordnance factory. Jatan might have collected the butts from them,” said an officer. According to police, Jatan’s guns might not be very well finished, but are very useful for medium-range firing. Naiyer and his sons told police that it took them four to five days to complete a single-barrel gun. The short pipe-guns took less time. The guns sold for Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,500. The long-range rifles cost Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000. Jatan was a known gun-supplier in Bishnupur and nearby areas. The Naiyers confessed that in last year, they had made more than 50 guns and had recently started supplying ammunition also. The trio, however, denied making small arms, as these need good quality metal, which is very costly and not easily accessible. Police claimed that criminals from other districts also collected arms from Jatan. Months ago, a similar gun manufacturer was nabbed at Basanti after a clash between RSP and CPM. “There are several units like Jatan’s in South 24-Parganas who supply arms to local criminals at rates cheaper than Munger-made guns,” said a senior police officer. “It is an important catch. We are grilling all five to get details about local criminals and gun-runners.



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