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Even robbers must shop

delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2009 23:46 IST
Vijaita Singh
Vijaita Singh
Hindustan Times
Even robbers must shop

Criminals in Delhi are pulling the trigger quite often and without inhibition.

This year, there have been 135 cases of robbery and snatching in which firearms were used.

The disturbing trend, according to the police, is that the weapons used in the crimes were often made in illegal factories, but the cartridges were genuine, produced in ordnance factories and bought from the grey market.

“Although most of the weapons seized are made in illegal gun factories, the ammunition is found to be manufactured by regular factories,” said Neeraj Thakur, DCP (crime).

Another officer on condition of anonymity said the police have specific information that people who have licensed guns procure cartridges from authorised arms dealer and sell them in the grey market. “These bullets then reach the criminals. There is no check on where a licensee exhausts these bullets,” the official said.

Last Monday, a Kargil war veteran was shot dead by three motorcycle-borne men. They also took his bag containing Rs 8.45 lakh from outside a bank in Bhajanpura in northeast Delhi. On the same day, a petrol pump employee was shot at and his colleague was stabbed when they did not let go off the bag containing cash outside a bank in South Extension in south Delhi.

In the Bhajanpura incident, police recovered a live cartridge of 7.65 bore that was manufactured in an ordnance factory in Uttar Pradesh.

In wake of the recent cases of snatching and robberies, the Crime Branch have initiated a drive to apprehend people involved in the trade of illegal firearms in the Capital.

Police said they initiated the drive to reach the source of these weapons.

Police said most of these weapons were manufactured at illegal units in Munger in southern Bihar. These weapons, they said,
were no less sophisticated than the ones manufactured in ordnance factories and were sold for anything between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000.

“Earlier, weapons manufactured in these factories were crude and capable of firing only one bullet at a time. They even got jammed. Now, the weapons being produced there are sophisticated and can fire several rounds in one go,” said the officer, adding that robbers prefer to kill people who resist their attempt for the fear of being identified.

The market for illegal weapons in Delhi, according to the police, is huge.

The weapons reach the Capital from the factories in Munger via Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

“We have tried raiding these factories in Bihar several times, but we faced tough resistance from locals for whom manufacturing these weapons was their main source of income. The local police also avoids raiding these units” said the officer.