The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police busted an inter-State arms and ammunition supplying racket with the arrest of three men here.

The police seized four country-made revolvers, one pistol, 32 rounds of live ammunition and Rs. 8 lakh in cash from the accused.

The names of the accused have been given as Mohammad Siraj of Jharkhand, Hussain Saab of Chitradurga and Nawab Barkathullah of Bihar.

Addressing presspersons at his office here on Sunday, Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said: “The accused have been allegedly involved in supplying firearms, including pistols, revolvers and bullets to anti-social elements in different parts of the country during the past year.”

According to Mr. Bidari, the accused had established a wide network and had a firearms manufacturing unit in Uttar Pradesh.

Siraj and Barkathulla had a nexus with anti-social elements in various States. In Karnataka, Hussain was their agent, said an officer of the CCB.

The trio had supplied several firearms to anti-social elements in the coastal areas of the State as well as the underworld in the city. They charged Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh for a revolver, he said.

During the investigation, the three reportedly said that they had sold a good number of firearms to persons with criminal antecedents and to underworld elements. It was learnt that the arrested had contacts with elements of the Mumbai underworld.

The Bangalore city police has decided to seek the help of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in investigating the case.

Mr. Bidari said that owing to the magnitude of the racket, they would insist that the investigation be transferred to the CBI. He said that they had decided to write to the State Government in this regard.

He added that they had extensive details about the people who procured arms from the accused. A special drive would be launched to trace and recover the arms and ammunition from them, said a CCB officer.

According to the CCB officer, the city police are in constant touch with their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh. A special team from the city will shortly visit that State to trace the ammunition manufacturing unit.

It is said that the accused had sold at least 200 revolvers and pistols and a large quantity of ammunition. They also allegedly tried to sell arms to Naxalites.

The recovered revolvers and pistol were of low calibre and could fire up to six rounds. The firearms were found to be locally fashioned. However, the bullets were of branded make, commonly used in sophisticated weapons, the CCB officer said.

A case has been registered against the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Indian Arms Act.