Chhattisgarh cops recover two hi-tech foreign-made firearms from Maoists
(Sourced from PTI)
Maoists in Chhattisgarh may have been procuring sophisticated foreign weapons by smuggling them through the North East, Deputy Inspector General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) Sundarraj P said. The police are investigating this aspect in the wake of the recovery of two hi-tech "foreign made" firearms for the first time from Maoists in the Naxal hotbed of Bastar region. Here's more.
A rifle with a "Made in Germany" mark was recovered on May 2 after a gun-battle with Naxals in Sukma district, while a sub-machine gun of the US-make was seized from them in Narayanpur district on July 4, a police official said. "An investigation is on to trace sources of these weapons, which were earlier never found with ultras in Bastar region," he said.
Earlier in December 2011 and April 2014, two 7.65mm automatic pistols with the "Made in the USA" mark were recovered, police said. The questioning of Maoists who were arrested and those who surrendered revealed that they were getting weapons and advanced devices, like direction finders and China-made binoculars, from abroad. But Naxals also looted such weapons and gadgets from security forces, the DIG said.
The DIG said that extremist groups like LTTE and ULFA had also earlier supplied weapons to Maoists. He said weapons generally reach ultras in Bastar from North Eastern states like Assam via Jungle Mahal (WB) and Malkangiri (Odisha). But for the past couple of years, the supply chain of Maoists was choked by joint efforts of security forces from all these states, he added.
"Even some documents recovered recently from Naxal camps and hideouts revealed that they were running short of arms, ammunition as well as cadres," the official said. Since 2001, security forces have recovered about 2,600 weapons, including 92 automatic guns, from Naxals after encounters and busting their camps, particularly from Bastar region. In last five years, around 1,007 weapons were seized from them, he said.
Professor Girish Kant Pandey, HOD of Defense Studies in Government Science College, said some manufacturers of illegal weapons in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh make replicas of international models in which names of foreign gun makers are inscribed. He didn't rule out the possibility of Naxals possessing foreign-made weapons, but said only their top ranking cadres enjoy the privilege of carrying such firearms.