Delhi getting trigger-happy?

This is not the first case of guns being used to settle scores or commit crimes in the city. In the past few years, the use of guns in committing crimes has increased, reports Karan Choudhury.
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Updated on Feb 22, 2009 11:58 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByKaran Choudhury, New Delhi

When 22-year-old Ankit Menocha decided to tag along with a few friends on a Sunday afternoon, little did anyone know he'd pay for the seemingly innocuous ride with his life. Menocha was shot dead by unidentified assailants.

If his friends and family are to be believed, Menocha had no idea that his friend, financer Mahender Kumar had driven to Karol Bagh to collect Rs. 10 lakh from car-dealers Pushkar and Sushil (police have their first names only). Kumar, Menocha's Mehrauli-based friend, had asked the latter to accompany him to Karol Bagh at 1.30 pm.

Menocha's father Rajiv Menocha owns a plastic frames manufacturing unit. Both Menocha and his elder brother Ankur assisted their father in the family business.

Police said the assailants shot as many as three rounds of ammunition. Meanwhile, Pushkar has been taken into custody by the police.

Gun culture

This is not the first case of guns being used to settle scores or commit crimes in the city. In the past few years, the use of guns in committing crimes has increased. According to police records, as many as 1,190 cases were booked under the Arms Act in 2008 and 1,237 people arrested. On Saturday, robbers shot at an Agra based businessman in Kamala Market in Central Delhi over Rs. 30, 000.

Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat, while denying there was a spurt in gun-related crime in the Capital, did admit to rampant use of illicit arms. “Overall gun related cases have not gone up,” he said. “But in most cases, guns being used are unlicensed.”

According to police, most of the guns come from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

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