New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches at 12 locations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday in connection with the Munger Arms Case.

Raids were conducted in the houses of suspect Hulas Pandey along with his close associates at different places at Buxar, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Varanasi and Patna in Bihar.

The NIA also conducted raids at the residence of Santosh Pandey, brother of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Sunil Pandey, earlier today.

Three AK-47 rifles were recovered along with other weapons from the accused Shamsher Alam’s sister’s house and from another accused Rizwana Begum’s residence.

Other items seized included a rifle along with various cartridges, cash over Rs 29 lacs, ​incriminating documents, including receipts and bank details, four laptops, and a number of other gadgets.

In June last year, a case was registered in Munger district in which a large number of prohibited weapons including AK series weapons were stolen from the Central Ordinance Depot Area (COD), Jabalpur and smuggled to various Naxal organisations and criminal gangs.

The case was registered under Sections 380, 414, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 25, 26, and 35 of the Arms Act, and Section 39 of the UA(P) Act, 1967.

The NIA had arrested and remanded 15 accused in the Munger case. Nine among the arrested have been charge-sheeted, including the kingpins of the racket Purushottam Lal Rajak, Suresh Thakur, Imran Alam and Niyajul Rahman.

Munger area of Bihar is infamous for its huge racket of illegal weapons manufacturing. Past residents of the area used to work in the gun factories during the British era who have passed on their skills to future generations who are capable of replicating Chinese and Americans pistols and rifles.

With input from Manish Shukla