With the Chandigarh police concentrating more on curbing petty crimes and traffic offences, illegal weapons continue to be smuggled into the city. Recent spate of incidents involving illegal, country-made guns stands testimony that hardly any steps have been initiated to search vehicles thoroughly.
The issue was underlined barely three days ago when a property dealer shot at his wife before killing himself with a country-made pistol in Sector 44. This is not an incident in isolation. Since the beginning of this year, at least seven persons have been booked for possessing country-made pistols.
In March, two groups of students had clashed near DAV College in Sector 10, where country-made weapons were used.
A trigger-happy miscreant was booked in Mauli Jagran in February, and in March a Panchkula resident was booked for carrying a country-made pistol in Manimajra. The crime branch of Chandigarh police had in February arrested five criminals planning a dacoity and recovered a country-made pistol among other weapons. Later, in May, Sector-39 SHO Charanjit Singh caught hold of six youngsters near Maloya who possessed a katta (local slang for country-made pistol) besides knives.
The police have registered at least 15 cases under the Arms Act in the past one year, and are now planning to change the approach. Superintendent of police (city) Des Raj said, "With the Independence Day and elections to the student council of Panjab University around the corner, we intend to put up nakas at the city's entry points, besides other strategic locations."
"Residents may have to undergo a bit of inconvenience, but it is in the larger public interest," he added.
A senior police officer said the country-made pistols are procured from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.