Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) Two Maoist cadres were arrested and a huge cache of firearms, most of which were snatched away from police in the past, and ammunition were recovered form their hideout in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district, police said Friday.
“The rebels – Bhim Baske and Ganesh Murmu – were nabbed after their hideout in the forest adjacent to Bera and Bhagghora villages near Kotwali police station was raided early Friday,” said West Midnapore Police Superintendent Manoj Verma.
“Seeing the forces approaching their hideout, the ultras opened fire. The gun battle continued for a few hours. Afterwards, raids were conducted in the area and a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including sophisticated firearms, were recovered,” said Verma at a media meet in his office in Midnapore.
He said the firearms recovered included one INSAS and two magazines looted from Eastern Frontier Rifle’s camp in Silda Feb 15 last year, one SLR looted from the EFR personnel when they were patrolling at Gidhni Nov 27, 2009, one .303 rifle with magazine looted from Sankrail police station Oct 20, 2009.
“Besides, one 9 mm pistol, one single barrel rifle, seven kilogrammes of explosives, five socket landmine, 8 detonators, four flash guns, one camera, other accessories and materials for making explosives and medicines were found at the hideout,” said Verma.
“One notebook containing the detailed training module, the dos and don’ts for making and handling explosives and a programme schedule has also been recovered,” he added.
“With the recovery of the firearms, we have been able to recover 26 of the 70 weapons snatched by the Maoists from the police in the past two years,” said the district police chief.
Maoists are active in three western districts of the state – West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.