Are the Sikligars of Madhya Pradesh dealing in carbines? This question has started to haunt the STF and also the Madhya Pradesh police after the interrogation of Mahendra Pal Singh, an inter-state gun runner.
Mahindra, 42, was arrested in Agra in November 2014, when he had opened fire on Agra police. He was brought to Indore in transit remand by STF a couple of days back for questioning. The matter came to light on Friday late evening.
The actual interest of the STF is to find out whether it was the Sikligars who had supplied a carbine to Mahindra in Madhya Pradesh in 2009 and whether this supply channel was still active.
Singh had been arrested by Haryana police before he could reach Delhi where he was supposed to hand over the carbine to an influential travel agency owner. Incidentally, the police are keeping tabs on the travel agency owner also.
“The travel agency owner is well-connected with the politicians of Delhi and Haryana. He ordered a carbine from Mahindra who had subsequently conveyed the demand to Skiligars. In early 2009, when he visited Barwani, he got a phone call from Etawah (Uttar Pradesh), and the caller instructed him to meet a Bhil tribal on the outskirts of Barwani district who had shown him the carbine. Mahindra then went to Etawah and bought the same carbine for Rs 28,000. When he was trying to smuggle the same to Delhi he was arrested Haryana,” said a senior police official.
STF sources also confirmed that the call details of Mahendra and said that he use to make call to Munger (Bihar), Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and other parts of the country including Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are trying to find out whether he had smuggled other carbines to some people in these states and also his links with other gunrunners of MP and Bihar,” said the senior police official of STF.
The Sikilgar community is adept at making country made pistols, one — fire weapons (12-bore katta and 315 bore katta) swords and daggers. As per sources of STF, Mahindra came to Indore way back in 1996 and started a small business in Pithampura area. One day, he entered into a brawl in Pithampur and brought a gun from a sikligar — Prem Singh of Khargone.
Since then he came in contact of sikligars of Malwa and Nimar region. He first smuggled guns purchased from Sikligars and since 2006 he started supplying bullets to them.
“We are trying to recover more guns on the basis of the interrogation,” an STF official quizzing Mahendra said.