In yet another haul, the Madhya Pradesh police on Friday busted two illegal arms factories and arrested two persons with a huge cache of firearms from Khargone, about 310 km from Bhopal.
Khargone and its neigbouring districts are fast turning into a hub of illegal firearms which are manufactured and smuggled to crime-prone states, like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, by a local tribe called Sikligars, according to the police.
Earlier on October 2, the police had arrested three persons and recovered 22 pistols from their possession from the same district.
But, Friday’s catch has been a bigger haul as the police recovered 36 country-made firearms and three replicas of 12mm Mauser pistols from two persons, reportedly belonging to Sikligar tribe, which has been into arms making since 300 years.
The police sources said Sikligars expertise lies in making an exact replica of a Mauser pistol, which is a semi-automatic firearm, originally made by German arms manufacturer Mauser.
The two have been identified as Poonam Yadav from Harda district and Bheru Bheel of Dhar. However, Sultan Singh, Sodan Singh and Bheru Bhil managed to dodge the police.
Khargone superintendent of police Amit Singh said after interrogating the Sikligars, the police raided two illegal arms factories operating at Singur and Bariya villages, on the outskirts of the district, and recovered raw material and equipment used in arms making.
Talking about Sikligars and the illegal weapons trade, Khargone range DIG DK Arya said the tribe lives in Khargone and the surrounding districts including Khandwa, Barwani and Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh.
Sikligarhs, who wear turbans and consider themselves as Sikhs, are infamous for making illegal weapons. They sell firearms between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8000 which are then sold in Delhi and NCR and then circulated to other part of the country at Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per piece, according to a police source.