Police crack whip as it gets easier to get a gun in Delhi
The recovery of illegal guns, registration of arms act cases and arrests in Delhi saw a significant rise in 2018 from the previous year. On an average, at least five illegal guns were recovered every day in 2018.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 13:08 IST
From arguments over trivial issues such as throwing a stone at a pet dog or car’s door grazing past someone’s body to serious crimes such as robbery, carjacking and murder — firearms are used almost at the drop of a hat both by habitual criminals and first-timers these days. The reason is easy availability.
Delhi Police’s annual report card shows that on an average, the city witnessed as many as two crimes everyday in 2018 in which firearms were used. This despite the use of illegal guns declining by almost 11% from 2017.
In 2018, Delhi witnessed 752 crimes — murder, attempt to murder, robbery, carjacking and others — in which guns were used. In 2017, 848 such cases were reported and in 2016, the number stood at 912.
“The problem of illicit firearms and their use is becoming worse with every year. The reason why people go in for illegal arms vary from person to person, though most are petty criminals or those seeking revenge,” Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik said.
On the other hand, the recovery of illegal guns, registration of arms act cases and arrests saw a significant rise in 2018 from the previous year. On an average, at least five illegal guns were recovered every day in 2018.
A total of 1,905 guns were recovered in 2018 as compared to 1,381 firearms seized in 2017, a rise of around 38%. Police arrested 1,901 people in 1,540 cases last year in these cases. In 2017, 1,141 were arrested in 957 cases, data shows .
In 2016, police seized 902 firearms and arrested 745 people in 658 cases.
It means recovery of firearms rose by 111% in 2018 from 2016 while cases and arrests increased by 134% and 155%, respectively, in the same period.
Satish Golcha, special commissioner of police (crime), said constant crackdowns on illegal gun factories in Bihar’s Munger and Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone, Burhanpur, Barwani, Dhar— considered to be the prime source of weapons for Delhi-NCR’s criminals—forced gunrunners to move their illegal business closer to the Capital.
In 2018, Delhi Police unearthed two illegal factories – one in northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar and another in Meerut, UP – where firearms were manufactured and assembled by skilled arms manufacturers from Munger.
Police busted more than a dozen organised syndicates that procured raw materials from Munger and Madhya Pradesh, and assembled them in Meerut, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Mathura, Bunaldshahr, and Muzaffarnagar.
“Gun traffickers look for a safe zone around Delhi where they can assemble firearms. They take a house on rent, get raw material, including springs and barrels, delivered. Manufacturing or assembling a pistol takes a day or two. The gunrunners use public transport to deliver the finished produced to their clients in Delhi. They avoid border routes, which are always under police watch,” said Golcha.
Recent trends show criminals are using countrymade pistols, carbines, Chinese guns, self-loading rifles, double-barrel guns and other sophisticated weapons. Weapons manufactured in Munger are better than firearms supplied from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
“Because of its good and near-original quality, the cost of one 9 mm pistol ranges between R 30,000 and R 50,000. The crude ones from Muzaffarnagar or Aligarh are available for as little as R3,000 to R5,000,” said a special cell officer, on the condition of anonymity.
Speaking about the steps police are taking to curb the use and supply of firearms, Patnaik said, “Efforts are being made to connect all backward and forward linkages and unearth the entire chain of supply, transit route, mode of trafficking, end users and source of manufacturing of illegal guns.”
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 13:08 IST