New Delhi: The Centre on Monday said the
Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has its task cut
out and will have to "redouble" its efforts to recover all
illegal arms proliferating there.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said recent recovery of
large caches of illegal arms in different parts of West Bengal
was a matter of "grave concern".
"Now, we know that arms caches were in many places. So, I
think the new government has its task cut out. The new
government will have to redouble its drive to recover these
arms. You can`t maintain law and order if illegal arms
proliferate in a state," he said at a press conference here.
Chidambaram said since May 14, a day after the results of
West Bengal Assembly polls were declared, police have
conducted about 100 raids and recovered 1,109 fire arms and
11,088 rounds of ammunition of different varieties from
various police stations in West Midnapore district.
He said over 140 people have been arrested, some of these
arms caches were at local-level CPI(M) offices and the house
of a CPI(M) supporter.
However, he said, bulk of arms and ammunition was
recovered from proximity of CPI(M) offices and have been shown
"Of these, about 246 are rifles of various calibres and
the balance are muskets and country-made weapons. On May 22,
an AK-56 and an INSAS rifle were among the recoveries from
Kotwali police station area. The INSAS was one of the weapons
looted from the Silda camp of Eastern Frontier Rifles in
2010," he said.
Chidambaram said the recovery of illegal arms was a
matter of grave concern. "Police are taking action and I think
further action will be taken to recover more illegal arms," he
"I have maintained earlier that there are illegal arms in
West Bengal, especially in West Midnapore. Netia (where
several people were allegedly killed by CPI(M) cadres) proved
that I was right that there was an armed camp," he said.
Asked whether there was a need to re-investigate the
February 2010 attack on the Eastern Rifles camp at Silda, he
said "that is a call the state police have to take".
"Silda loot is a very grave incident. I think some people
were arrested after the incident. But I am sure the state
police will look into all aspects now," he said.