India: Maoists Manufacturing AK Rifles
Posted by Ka Frank on January 18, 2010
This article was published in Times of India on January 18, 2010.
Maoists develop tech to clone AK series rifles
NEW DELHI: Maoists may have been dependent on weapons looted from armouries but now they have developed the expertise to clone sophisticated weapons, including assault rifles of AK series, in a development that should worry security agencies as they brace for the offensive against the ultras.
Security agencies came across the Maoists’ innovative skills last week when a CRPF team busted an arms manufacturing unit in forests close to Gobardaha village in Chatra district in Jharkhand and recovered a number of ‘duplicate’ AK-47 and AK-57 rifles of “high standard”.
The CRPF also seized as many as 59 different types of instruments, which were used to manufacture and assemble these rifles and various types of pistols. An official said, “Around 100 personnel of the CRPF’s 190th Battalion conducted the operation and arrested one Maoist. Though the rest of the ultras fled away, they left behind the instruments used in making not only duplicate AK series rifles but also pistols of different makes.”
The preliminary examination of weapons seized from the arms manufacturing unit showed that the quality of the rifles was as good as original AK series rifles. Five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) weighing 15 kg each were also seized during the operation, launched on the basis of specific intelligence input.
The official said, “Though security forces have busted other arms manufacturing units of the Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in the past, they have for the first time come across such sophisticated weapons of high standard, manufactured by the ultras.”
The first big arms manufacturing unit of the Maoists was busted by Andhra Pradesh in 2006 when they recovered a huge stock of rocket shells and launchers in the state. Probe later revealed that the Maoists’ technical wing designed the launchers and initially made them at a foundry in Chennai.