Kolkata/New Delhi: It may be a wakeup call for the security apparatus of the country, but for the people of Bengal, it’s just another day. West Bengal Police have busted an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Malda districts’ infamous Kaliachak area that has seen many a communal flare up, thanks to the massive influx of illegal Bangladeshis. What’s more shocking, the hub of this illegal and dangerous activity, Shershashi, is just 10 km from the porous India-Bangladesh border.

The modus operandi is the same. In late July, an illegal arms manufacturing unit was busted, which was operating behind the façade of a laddoo shop. This time, in Kaliachak, the arms unit was hidden behind a grill workshop.

Also read: Bengal's jihad factory: Behind laddu shop is arms manufacturing unit with suspected links to Jamaat

Two arrested, one on the run

The arms factory was raided after specific intelligence input indicated the existence of such an illegal arms factory run in a clandestine manner in the sensitive international border area. One Fakir Sheikh owns the factory. He is on the run. The two men working there were Md Tamrez and Sahabuddin, whom the cops have arrested along with loads of locally produced arms and an elaborate arms manufacturing machinery.


24 pipe guns have been seized along with at least three machines used to produce such firearms. Police sources say both Tamrez and Sahabuddin hail from Munger, a notorious firearms manufacturing hub in neighbouring Bihar.

Not the first time

This is not the first time a Munger connection surfaced in the badlands of Bengal. Neither is this the first time that such illegal arms manufacturing units have been busted in Bengal. Many such workshops have mushroomed in the recent past, with Kaliachak as their base.

•    June 2018: Malda: 11 arrested, 9 from Munger
•    January 2018: 24 Parganas (North): illegal arms unit busted, 2 arrested
•    May 2017, 24 Parganas (South): Huge cache of arms recovered, 2 (Md Nasrool, Sabir Alam) from Munger
•    2016, Metiabruz: This area in Kolkata was used to smuggle made-in-China Insas, AK series rifles, Munger connection established
•    2014, Khagragar: 16 sophisticated chemicals founds, NSA Ajit Doval rushed to spot

Police version

Arnab Ghosh, Malda superintendent of police, said, “We have unearthed this illegal arms factory. We have arrested two persons. Initial interrogation suggests they are from a mufassil in Bihar’s Munger”.

Unanswered questions

Who is Fakir Sheikh, the owner of this factory, right now on the run? Why is Kaliachak emerging as a hub of illegal manufacturing, trade and terror activities? How is it possible that such an illegal firearms factory could function within 10 km of the international border where not only local police but intelligence department of BSF too are always on the prowl looking for potential mischief mongers? Most important, has the massive Bangladeshi influx over the recent years contributed to this?

Not long ago MyNation had reported how the Muslim community, mostly illegal immigrants, created a riot in bordering Pakur area of Jharkhand, 40 km from Kaliachak over the objection to slaughter six cows. They allegedly raised the slogan of "Pakistan Zindabad" while attacking the policemen, forcing the latter to open fire. As many as 250 rounds were fired to bring it under control.

Two people may have been arrested in Kaliachak now but the ruling Trinamool Congress has not reacted to the situation so far.