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Somatirtha Purohit

Cracking whip on illegal firearms trade, the Puri police on Saturday arrested seven persons on charges of possessing illegal weapons.

The accused have been identified as Ratikanta Parida, Bikram Panda, Ashok Sahu, Rudra Prasad Rout, Harishchandra Prusty, Lokanath Das and Ranjit Kumar Mohanty.

Police recovered four country-made pistols including 9mm and 7mm bores, live ammunition, an iron rod and a motorcycle from their possession. 

Speaking to the reporters, Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh said, "We have arrested seven anti-socials and recovered four firearms from their possession. The accused have several cases pending against them."

"As many as 16 firearms have been seized from Puri so far this year. The drive against possession and use of illegal arms will continue in the future. We are hopeful to identify and nab the source of inter-district illegal weapons racket in the state soon." Singh added.

Police busted the racket while investigating the murder case of Shivaram Patra who was shot dead near Emar Mutt in Puri on Tuesday night.

The police had detained the main accused in the murder case identified as Chandan Barik.

As per police, the deceased Patra, was riding motorcycle towards Badadanda through Kakudikhai road when two bike-borne miscreants fired two rounds of bullets at him near Emar mutt, killing him on the spot.

Patra was killed over personal enmity related to a family dispute.

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