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Arms racket: State ATS nabs 3 including CRPF cop

Ranchi: The anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of Jharkhand on Tuesday arrested three persons including a CRPF constable for supplying illegal arms and ammunition to different extremist groups and criminal gangs. The trio originally hails from Bihar but was operating from different parts of the country. They are identified as Avinash Kumar alias Chunnu Sharma (29), a native of Gaya, Rishi Kumar (49) of Patna and Pankaj Kumar (48) of Muzafarpur. The breakthrough was achieved with the help of Bihar special task force (STF), officials in state police here have said.

Addressing a press conference, STF SP Prashant Anand said that police have recovered 450 rounds of bullets (5.56mm) following the interrogation of the trio.

Avinash is with CRPF’s 182 battalion and was currently posted in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir. Anand said, “He was away from duty for past four months. He was inducted into Crpf on August 24, 2011 and served in Latehar and Jagdalpur before being sent to Pulwama in 2018.

“He was in touch with dreaded gangster Aman Sao (Ranchi), Harendra Yadav (Bihar) and Lallu Khan (Chatra). Both Harendra and Lallu are currently in Sherghati jail,” he said.

Rishi is a transporter in Ranchi and also worked as building contractor at airport road. Pankaj was in Bhuli in Dhanbad working as coal and land broker.

“While working in some civil project at airport road, Rishi came in touch with two other contractors of Seraikela region namely Sanjay Singh and Muhahir. Sanjay was in touch with different banned outfits in Assam, Nagaland besides Jharkhand and Bihar for supply of arms and ammunitions. They roped Rishi for supplying arms to different rebel groups who in return expanded network with other two accused,” informed Anand, adding that all the three arrested persons have confessed to have supplied heavy consignment of insas rifles and AK-47 to CPI (Maoists) along with criminal gangs run by Aman Sahu and those in Bihar.