With the property market witnessing a boom in recent years, there has been a rise in the possession and trading of illegal weapons in the Millennium City. Traders, dealing in such weapons, are mostly from western Uttar Pradesh and other NCR cities.
The supply of arms range from country-made pistols to sophisticated guns, and are priced between Rs1,500 and Rs60,000. According to police records, in 2010, illegal weapons were used in 122 crimes, while licensed arms were used in only 10 cases. The Gurgaon police’s decision to tighten licensing norms, including refusing licences to those related to property trade, has forced people to go in for illegal weapons.
As per an estimate, there are about 10,000 licensed weapons in the city. Meerut, Bulandshahr, Rampur, Etah, Aligarh and Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh, Bharatpur and Kama in Rajasthan, Dhar in Madhya Pradesh are the main suppliers of such arms to the city. Last year, a Kherki Daula toll plaza attendant was killed with an illegal country-made pistol.
“In Gurgaon, one gets easy bargain for guns. Katta, a country-made pistol, is available for just Rs1,500-R2,000. Sixer, a crude form of revolver with six rounds, costs between Rs5,000 and Rs25,000, depending on the quality. While, a sophisticated 9mm and .38 pistol with design resembling Beretta and Colt are also available. A 9mm pistol can be purchased between Rs35,000 and Rs1 lakh,” said an undertrial gangster in Bhondsi Jail, requesting anonymity. Gunrunners who hand them over to their retailers bring these weapons to Gurgaon and other parts of Haryana. A manufacturer charges R2,000 for a country-made pistol, but by the time it reaches the retailer the price rises by 35-40%.
“Most users are property dealers, builders, liquor mafia and auto-lifters. Arms like .315 bore pistols are easily available for anything between Rs1,500 and Rs2,000. While sophisticated ones are sold for Rs50,000 to Rs60,000. We know the buyers of these weapons. A large number of arms enter the city through road and rail routes. Women have also been involved in arms business and work as carriers,” said the undertrial.
Illegal arms dealers use code names for weapons. For cartridge it is ‘tablet’, ‘chhotta saman’ for a country-made pistol, and ‘bada saman’ for a sophisticated gun or carbine. The same code name is used by the police also,” the gangster added. Meanwhile, police said that as per the new directives issued by the ministry of home affairs, the applications for grant of arms licence would be considered to those who perceive imminent threat to life. The licensing authority will obtain an assessment of threat faced by the person from the police," said Maheshwar Dayal, DCP (crime), Gurgaon police. "The applicant will have to prove that there is an imminent and grave threat to his life to have a licence," the DCP said. "The city police have been in touch with other states' police and agencies, and several raids have been conducted in the past", said Dayal.