New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday, arrested an arms trafficker from the Gaya district involved in stealing AK series weapons from Central Ordnance Depot in Jabalpur and smuggling it to various Naxal organisations and criminal syndicates. The NIA is investigating the matter further.

Smuggling of Arms From Ordnance Factories Not New

Leakage of arms from Ordnance factories is not new. In 2018, the Kolkata Police had busted a racket of arms-dealers who were instrumental in supplying arms to Naxalites across India. An investigation into the case had revealed that a cartel was at work to smuggle rifles from the Rifle Factory in Ishapore, West Bengal and supplying it to outfits banned in India and Nepal.

A similar case had also come to light in 2017 when middlemen were detained for supplying INSAS rifles to Maoists. An officer of Ishapore Ordnance Factory was also arrested for smuggling arms in his car and transporting them to Naxal dominated areas in Bihar and Jharkhand. Investigators had even reached a conclusion that blueprints of arms had also been supplied extremist elements.

According to information discussed during an event at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, Naxalites have local arms factories of their own. These independent units carry out activities 'right from assembling makeshift weapons from discarded parts to more advanced forging process' an IDSA expert had said during an event on the matter.

"These factories also produce homemade mortar rounds and components for improvised explosive devices. As reported, they even have a laboratory to test the improvised explosive devices, land mines, claymore mines and other sophisticated explosives/ammunition," the expert had said and was quoted by the IDSA website.