MP: Sikligars fear arrest, avoid selling arms to criminals

  • Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Feb 19, 2015 17:30 IST

Sikligars, who are traditionally illegal arms sellers, have lost faith in Indore criminals. Even though there is a huge market for weapons manufactured by them, the community feels that petty criminals buying arms from them will ultimately be caught, thus leading to the police discovering their trail.

Their belief stems from the fact that in the past few months, the Indore police had conducted five raids and recovered nearly two dozen pistols from several criminals. The pistols were originally purchased from Sikligars.

Recently, the Indore Special Task Force (STF) nabbed Mahendra Pal Singh, an inter-state gun runner. This has created panic among the sikligars of Madhya Pradesh.

Police sources in Indore said these illegal arms manufacturers are rejecting purchase offers from Indore criminals by identifying them on the basis of dialects. “In the past few years, the knife crime in Indore was replaced by pistols. Pistols were dumped in Indore with the help of middlemen and even a petty criminal possessed one. But in the past few months due to raids and arrests of Sikligars by the Indore police, they are now refusing to sell arms to the criminals of Indore,” ASP of Indore crime branch Vinay Prakash Paul said.The Sikligar community is adept at making country-made pistols, fire arms (12-bore katta and 315-bore katta) swords and daggers.

“Earlier, it was very easy to get a pistol from Sikilgars because they were eager to sell it. As soon as you came into contact with them or a middleman they used to fix a deal, but things have changed,” said another crime branch official. Of late, they have become cautious in choosing their clients. “If an unknown person comes to contact them they try to establish their regional identity from his dialect. Most of them avoid dealing with Indore criminals. They are probably concentrating in other part of the state and country,” a source from the crime branch said.

Attractive returns

For an investment of Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,000, a Sikligar earns anywhere between Rs 3,000 to Rs 40,000 for a .315 or .12 bore gun. All he does is to buy an iron rib, gun powder and an umbrella spring (used for making the magazine) and fire a kiln. His fine hands work with hammer and chisel for four days and the weapon is ready. Some also use lathe machines to make more sophisticated weapons.

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