It is men like 49-year-old Vijay Tyagi who, according to the police, give more than 90% of the Capital’s petty criminals sharper teeth to bite with.
“We caught Tyagi selling a country-made pistol and eight cartridges to Pradeep Kumar, 33, from the Jhatkira Village in southwest Delhi. He used to procure both sophisticated as well as country-made pistols from Fugana in Muzzaffar Nagar, UP and sell them at almost double the price to petty criminals operating in the city. He’s been operating since 2003,” said Ashok Chand, deputy commissioner of police (crime).
Police said the same sophisticated pistol that Tyagi would procure for Rs30,000 to Rs35,000 would be sold for Rs50,000 to Rs60,000, while country-made weapons were procured for Rs1,000 to Rs1,500 and sold for Rs500 to Rs3,000.
“People like Tyagi are among a new breed of criminals who arm petty criminals for small commissions. This is a disturbing fact considering that country-made pistols were used to perpetrate more than 95% of the crimes, ranging from murder to snatching, in the Capital last year,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.
The Crime Branch, a single unit of the Delhi Police, seized as many as 85 country-made pistols, 15 English pistols, three revolvers and as many as 340 cartridges from criminals in 2010. In fact, as many as 845 people were arrested under the Arms Act.
Police said the past two years had seen locations such as Munger in Bihar making their way to the top of the list as far as illegal arms manufacturing is concerned after Muzaffar Nagar, Aligarh and Meerut.
“In a city like Delhi, such a high involvement of first timers depends heavily on people like Tyagi who help petty criminals, most of whom are first timers, arm themselves before they perpetrate any crime,” the DCP said.