Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Special Task Force (STF) of the Crime Branch arrested two arms smugglers following a raid near Sikharghat bridge under Niali police limits in Cuttack district on Friday.

The accused- Suresh Kumar Das alias Kalia and Soumyaranjan Dalei, hail from Jagatsinghpur district and were part of a larger crime syndicate. Eight illegal firearms, including two sophisticated pistols have been seized from their possession.

The development assumes much significance as the seizures come ahead of the crucial bypoll for the Pipili assembly constituency.

“Acting on an intelligence input, we intercepted the two gun runners and recovered eight illegal pistols, including two sophisticated ones and 20 live ammunition from their possession,” said DIG STF, J.N Pankaj.

According to Pankaj, the STF has been carrying out special drives against organised crime syndicates operating from different parts of the State. Already 22 fire arms, 54 rounds of live ammunition have been seized and 7 criminals arrested in such drives in the past one year by STF.

The two criminals have confessed to have been involved in several incidents of narcotics trade, extortion and robbery in different parts of the State. The duo is mostly involved in various crimes in Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri districts.

“We will produce the accused in court and seek for their remand. We are hopeful to bust their network after we start their interrogation during the remand period,” the DIG added.

Preliminary investigation reveals that out of the total eight illegal firearms, five were manufactured in Odisha while two others have been procured from outside the State.