UP: Huge haul of swords sends cops in a tizzy, probe on
Recovery of swords in huge numbers in various parts of Bahraich and on the Indo-Nepal border during Durga Puja, Dussehra and Moharram has put the district administration and the police in a tight spot.
Sensing foul play behind the transportation of swords in the district, the district police and border police have intensified the vehicle checking drive across the district and on the Indo-Nepal border.
The district and border force had recovered 278 swords in different parts of the district including the Indo-Nepal border areas in the past two days. 93 swords were recovered from a tourist bus in Rupaideha PS area. Police arrested four persons in this connection and registered a case against them under 4/25 Arms Act and section 188 of the IPC. Similarly, the Jarwal police recovered 185 swords from two buses in Ghagraghat area at Lucknow-Bahraich road and arrested five persons.
The arrested persons revealed that they bought all the swords from Ajmer in Rajasthan and were carrying them to be used during the traditional procession of Moharram.
As a matter of fact swords are displayed during Moharram processions in various parts of the state and Shia community also offers ‘Matam’ (a traditional act on the occasion of Ashura-Moharram).
Talking to HT over phone from Lucknow, Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad, a well-known religious scholar said swords were displayed during Moharram procession in a symbolic way to pay homage to Hazrat Imam-e-Hussain. He said it was a tradition across the state as well as in the country. He said in Lucknow, too, swords were displayed on 9th and 10th Ashura of Moharram adding that police should investigate the motive of people behind carrying huge cache of swords.
Syed Shafat Ali and executive member of ‘Muslim Siyasi Bedari Forum’ said swords were openly sold in Rajasthan and the police should take action against the practice. Meanwhile, Rumi Miyan ‘Sajjada Nasheen’ (head) of ‘Chhoti Takiya’, a religious centre in Bahraich from where Moharram procession starts every year, said artificial swords could be used during the symbolic procession and if it was against the law, the practice should stop.
Talking to HT deputy commandant of SSB 7th battalion SK Pandey said such a large recovery was never made on the border area. He said patrolling had been intensified in the area.
Talking to HT over phone from Nepal, SP of Banke district Sher Bahadur expressed happiness over the recovery of swords on the border. He denied the use of swords during Moharram procession in Nepal. Similarly, SP of Berdiya district of Nepal also denied the use of swords during the Moharram procession.
SP Bahraich Jugul Kishore said recovery of swords in such a large number was a matter of concern. He said, besides Nepal, the swords were being taken to Shrawasti, Gonda and some other parts of the district. He said action has been taken under Arms Act as possession of weapons was prohibited. However, most of the arrested persons seemed poor and unaware of the law. He said we had informed the Inspector General of Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the IB about the matter.
He said most of the swords were un-sharpened and had a seal of 30 years guarantee. All the station officers and border area police had been put on a high alert in view of recoveries during the festive season, he added.
SHARIQ RAIS SIDDIQUI