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New Delhi/Patna, June 20 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday searched a dozen locations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, including the residence of a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader, in the alleged Munger arms seizure case.
A senior NIA official said the agency carried out the searches in Patna at the residence of Hulas Pandey, a former JD-U MLC and currently an LJP leader.
Hulas Pandey’s brother Sunil Pandey is a former JD-U leader from Bihar’s Bhojpur Piro assembly seat. Besides Pandey’s residence in Patna, the agency also carried out searches at the premises of his close associates at different places in Bihar’s Buxar, Bhojpur and Rohtas in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.
The case involves recovery of 22 AK-47s rifles in Munger smuggled from the Central Ordnance Depot in Jabalpur in September 2018. The matter came to light on August 28, 2018 when the Munger police arrested a man identified as Mohammad Imran with three AK-47 rifles.
Three more weapons were recovered from an arms dealer, Shamsher Alam. After their interrogation, the Munger police recovered 12 more AK-47 rifles from a well in Mirzapur village of Munger district on September 28.
The police then arrested a retired army jawan, Niyazur Rehman, from New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.
In September 2018, Munger police had arrested Purushottam Lal Rajak, a retired employee of the Central Ordnance Depot at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, for transporting AK-47 assault rifles and spare parts to criminals in Munger.
Rajak had earlier confessed to having sold 70 assault rifles to arms suppliers in Munger district from 2012 to 2018.
The NIA took over the case from Bihar Police in October 2018 following orders from the Union Home Ministry.
The NIA official said that during the searches, the prbe agency recovered one rifle along with various cartridges, Rs 29 lakh cash, four laptops, five hard disk, 12 pen drives, 12 mobile phones and one computer.
The official said it also recovered incriminating documents, including cash receipts and bank details.
The NIA has so far arrested 15 accused in the case. The agency has also chargesheeted nine accused including kingpin of the racket Rajak, Suresh Thakur, Imran Alam and Niyajul Rahman.