IN a major breakthrough, Sambalpur police on Thursday busted a land mafia gang who were also involved in tender fixing and illegal transportation of materials. Six members of the gang were arrested.
Police have also seized firearms from them. The arrested are Sanjeeb Khandelwal (28), Ananda Nath (32), Md Sarif (39), Saddam Hussain (25), Kunjabihari Kumbhar (27) and Sk Mujibuddin. Sambalpur SP Akhilesvar Singh said all the six have criminal antecedents. They were into tender fixing, transportation and shady land dealings.
They were mainly operating in the industrial pockets of Sambalpur and Jharsuguda districts. Apart from this, the accused were also involved in extortion, Singh added.
Acting on a tip-off on illegal possession of firearms by the gang, Sambalpur police formed separate teams to nab the accused.
The teams raided several areas and arrested them from different parts of the town. “At least eight persons of the gang are still at large. Efforts are on to nab them soon,” Singh said.
The criminals had procured the firearms from Bihar. Police have also identified the agents who had supplied firearms to the criminals, Singh added. Six separate cases have been registered in the Town, Dhanuapali and Sadar police stations here and the accused have been forwarded to court. Earlier on February 1, at least 12 persons, including Sambalpur BSP MLA candidate in the last Assembly election Mohammad Mustukin, were arrested by Sambalpur police for illegal possession of firearms.