Naxal weapons smuggled from Dhaka: NIA

The National Investigation Agency, with inputs from Central intelligence agencies, has in a confidential report to the Union home ministry informed that weapons with US marking recovered from Naxals, particularly in Jharkhand, had been smuggled in from Bangladesh. The weapons were part of a consignment smuggled by northeast terror outfits who in turn handed some of them to the Naxals who are always on the lookout for sophisticated arms and ammunitions. The NIA has ruled the possibility of a direct link between the Naxals and leading arms smugglers who might be giving them sophisticated foreign weapons, particularly from the US.

Bulk of the sophisticated arms reaching Naxals are still coming through terror groups like Ulfa and the KLO. Sources said the basic idea behind asking the NIA to look into the matter was to ascertain as to how a US weapon had managed to reach the Naxals and whether there was a larger nexus and conspiracy behind it. Since the weapon was a US Army M16 rifle the security agencies were in no mood to take any chances and have launched a full scale probe into the matter. Investigations have not ruled out the possibility of similar weapon having been supplied to other Naxal outfits in different states. “This investigation was necessary since it would have been extremely dangerous had the Naxals managed to get access to leading arms smugglers operating abroad as it would have given them access to a range of sophisticated weapons.

But it seems this was a one off incident,’’ a senior investigating official said. It is now established that Naxals depend on terror groups like KLO and Ulfa for supply of weapons who in turn procure them from ISI agents of arms dealer in Bangladesh and south-east Asia. “It seems that some arms dealer managed to get a consignment of these weapons with US Army markings and in turn sold it to the Naxals at premium through these terror groups,’’ the official added. The “cash rich’’ Naxal groups, sources added, are always on the lookout for such sophisticate weapons and are even willing to pay a much higher price for them.

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