Ahead of the UP assembly elections, the Ghaziabad police on Wednesday arrested two persons and allegedly recovered three illegal pistols and 600 semi-finished pistol magazines from their possession. Officials said the entire consignment was traced to their hideout in Meerut and was meant for supplies in the state elections.
The police arrested Suleman Saifi who hails from a locality under Lisadi Gate area of Meerut, and Saifi’s alleged accomplice Sunil Kumar who is from Shatabdipuram in Ghaziabad. They were arrested from Hapur Crossing in Ghaziabad and the magazines recovered from them later, police said.
“Saifi has a criminal background and has also been to jail earlier in connection with illegal arms supplies. The consignment of 600 empty and semi-finished magazines was recovered on his instance from a hideout in Azad Nagar area of Meerut. He was manufacturing the arms and the magazines to be supplied during elections,” said Deepak Kumar, senior superintendent of police, Ghaziabad.
According to the police, the magazines were meant for .32 caliber pistols and were prepared with the help of machines and equipment that were also recovered from Meerut. Sources said some informers tipped off the police when Saifi had come to Ghaziabad to supply pistols to Sunil. The two were nabbed by the police during their meeting at Hapur Crossing on Tuesday.
“We later questioned Saifi and raided his hideout in Meerut from where we recovered pistols and semi-finished magazines. He told us that he supplied pistols for Rs25,000 to Rs50,000 to customers in Ghaziabad and adjoining areas of western UP,” Kumar said.
Police said Saifi’s father and uncle are also registered as repeat offenders from Lisadi Gate police station in Meerut. They added that Saifi himself worked at different arms shops and knew the techniques to manufacture and handle country-made weapons, and his brothers, Samir and Bilal, too are well-acquainted with repair and manufacture of arms.
Saifi refused to comment on his arrest and the consignment recovered, but Sunil said he met Saifi a couple of months ago in a bus while travelling to Meerut.
“I got in touch with him later and he said that he possessed arms that are also available for sale. I had tied up with him for supply of a pistol for Rs25,000. When he arrived in Ghaziabad to deliver, both of us were nabbed,” Sunil said.
Following the arrest and recovery, the two were booked under the provisions of the Arms Act in two different FIRs registered at Ghanta Ghar Kotwali police station.