Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Apr 21:
Commissionerate Police on Monday sought to take three out of the eight accused, including the mastermind, who were arrested on charges of being involved in an Odisha-wide gun running racket on Saturday and were sent to Jharpada jail here after their bail plea was rejected by the court yesterday.
“We have requested the local court for police remand of the three accused for interrogation about the arms smuggling racket and their associates who fled from the spot,” Twin city commissioner of police Dr R P Sharma said.
The Quick Action Team (QAT) of Commissionerate Police had arrested eight fire-arm smugglers from Ganjam district from a hotel in Unit-4 area here where they were allegedly carrying out a deal with some anti-socials in the city on Saturday evening.
Dr Sharma said a written request to take three accused on remand was submitted to the local court today since it was not possible to collect enough information from the criminals before they were produced before the court. In particular, the police wanted to quiz the gang to find out if there were more persons involved in the gang, which had been operating for over 10 years now, and who were the anti-socials in the city who were set to buy the arms, he said.
The CP also said a manhunt had been launched to nab Laxmi Jena, one of the criminals, who managed to flee from the spot taking three fire-arms with him. “Efforts are on to nab him along with the guns,” he added.
Another accused Jitendra Swain (26) of Aska, who had received bullet injury in his leg in the encounter, is still under treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. After his full recovery he will be forwarded to the court, the CP said adding Swain’s remand may also be sought for interrogation.
The gang members stayed in the particular hotel where they were caught from on each of the three occasions when they came to the cit in the last few months. In the last four months, the gang members have sold at least 12 guns in Bhubaneswar, sources said.