Rajpal Yadav (name changed), displays three different varieties of katta’s on a cot. His weapons included two .315 bore and a.12 bore katta.
Villagers with their arms in a field near Aliganj in Etah, Uttar Pradesh. Farmers say they need guns because gangsters threaten them. (Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)
He is aspiring to contest the next assembly elections and is seeking a ticket from various political parties.
“Here only dabang (strong and powerful) candidates win,” said Yadav when he met this correspondent behind a dhaba (hotel) in a small hut in Manpur area in Etah district.
“Everyone is scared of me because I have several guns,” he says with elan, standing next to the cot where his trophies are laid out.
Ask him what he does for a living and he only smiles in return. But ask him about unlicensed guns and he gives you a lecture on the illegal trade.
“I can arrange for illegal weapons whenever required,’’ is the boast. Katta’s or single shot pistols are manufactured in almost every third village in Etah district, he says. Fields, forest areas and workshops in villages come in handy to manufacture the pistols which are in high demand.
“I know many karigars (mechanics) who can make it. We approach the mechanics whenever there is a demand and choose a safe place where they can be manufactured,” says Yadav.
Each part of a gun is made separately and then assembled to make pistols of different barrel lengths.
Crude material, including water pipes and steering wheels, are used to make barrel and the rest is made out of wood and by combining steel sheets. Yadav knows what he is talking about.
He has mastered the art of being strong and powerful.