Patna: Bihar Police on Friday launched an investigation into the terror link of Munger arms suppliers following reports that the weapons used in the July 1 Dhaka cafe terror attack were modified in the Bihar district.
“Police have begun a probe into the terrorist connection with Munger arms smugglers, who were involved in illegal supply outside the state,” a police official said.
According to the officials, arms smugglers have shifted their base from Bihar’s Munger district to West Bengal’s Malda following police action against the manufacturers of illegal arms here in 2015.
“Arms manufacturers and smugglers have set up their new centres in Malda and other places in West Bengal given the increased police action here.”
In fact, some places in West Bengal have become the safest haven for them, he said.
“It was possible that arms manufacturers from Munger, now based in West Bengal, have made the weapons used in the Dhaka attack,” the officer said, adding, “We have information that it is easy for them to supply and smuggle arms with Munger brand seal from there to Bangladesh.”
Munger Superintendent of Police Ashsh Bharti said, “Police have been investigating the case on its own initiative.”
Bhagalpur Inspector General Sushil Khopde said, “Officially, we have not received any information from the higher government agencies engaged in investigation of terror incidents.”
Khopde has already asked the Munger police to submit a report on the basis of media reports about the Munger-modified weapons used for the Dhaka attack.
Earliar this week, Counter-Terrorism and Trans-national Crime chief of Bangladesh, Monirul Islam said, “We have come to know that the modification of these arms were done in Munger city in Bihar state of India and then they came to Chapainwabganj border.”
“A seal from a factory in Bihar was found on the three AK-22 rifles recovered after the Gulshan terror attack,” Islam was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune.
A month before the terror attack in Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka in July 1, the consignment of AK-22 rifles and some small arms had reached the terrorists in Dhaka.
Police in Bihar admitted that fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and the ability to produce exact imitations have made the illegal firearms industry infamous.
Their clientele includes criminals from at least nine Indian states and even a terrorist organisation.
“Arms are manufactured illegally in other parts of the country but what makes the ‘Munger’ brand most sought-after is the reliability factor. Criminals who use them can be sure they won’t blow up in their faces or misfire,” the officer said, adding, that “in terms of cost, they are roughly 50 per cent cheaper than the originals.”