Tribune News Service
Amritsar, December 1
A sharp rise in the seizure of illegal and country-made weapons has become a headache for the Punjab Police even as the crime rate has shot up in the holy city.
According to the police, these arms were being supplied from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh at cheaper rates.
Ironically, the Punjab Police are finding it difficult to check the easy availability and sneaking of these illegal weapons into the state, if the recent seizures are anything to go by.
In November alone, the Amritsar rural police confiscated seven pistols, five revolvers, two desi kattas and ammunition. Besides, the police arrested 18 persons in this connection. Among those arrested included two suppliers who used to supply weapons to unscrupulous elements after procuring them from Madhya Pradesh. They were identified as Karanpreet Singh, son of Shankar Singh, and Karanpreet Singh, son of Heera Singh, both residents of Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar area here in the city. The police confiscated two pistols with four live bullets from their possession. They used to sell the same to their ‘clients’ here for around Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. One of the pistols has the marking of ‘Made in Italy’ and Beretta Gardonevt CAL 78mm, PAT 7421.
A police official requesting anonymity said as per the investigation carried out in seizures of arms, these weapons were manufactured in Meerut, Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Munger in Bihar and Malwa-Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh. He said these weapons were being sold at a cost between Rs 5,000 and Rs 1 lakh depending on their calibre and quality. He said as manufacturing was done in other states, higher police officials had taken up the matter with other state counterparts.
“If you go by the recent incidents, even petty criminals have access to these weapons and they do not think twice before using it. Firing incidents even over minor quarrels have increased, creating a law and order problem,” pointed out Sarabjit Singh Verka, principal investigator, Punjab Human Rights Organisation, an NGO.
“It is not only criminal elements like gangsters and snatchers who are in possession of illegal arms, many youths, too, have these weapons, pointing towards growing gun culture among youngsters,” he adds.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigation) Mukhwinder Singh Bhullar said, “The police have been taking measures to check the supply of illegal weapons. The city police have confiscated around 25 country-made weapons this year. Until and unless the smuggling and illegal manufacturing of arms are dealt with iron hand, efforts would bear no fruit.”
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