Flush with illegal arms, city sits on a tinderbox

Gunrunners

Police chief's report notes a rapid increase in number of illegal weapons in Capital

The past few years have recorded a spurt in number of illegal firearms smuggled into Capital from cities such as Meerut, Agra and Allahabad, an internal report by Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has revealed.

Till September 15, the number of illegal firearms recovered in city was already close to the number recovered in the entire 2009.

What officials call shocking is the fact that most such firearms are either imported or manufactured in an Indian Ordnance Factory. The source of most illegal firearms, say police, is usually traced to Munger in Bihar.

The report, which cites several case studies, was sent to all senior officer last month with an aim to allow them to understand the rising use and presence of illegal firearms in the city.

The report says till September 15 this years, police recovered 564 illegal weapons. In 2011, 773 illegal weapons had been recovered, 623 were recovered in 2010 and in 2009, a total of 573 illegal firearms were recovered.

In 2011, a total of 111 firearms were used by criminals, but the figured had already reached 109 in the first nine months of this year.

The Commissioner observed that the arms dealers have been misusing their quota for manufacture of ammunition, allotted by the Indian ordnance factories. The report says the additional ammunition manufactured are given to agents in several states.

While a majority of firearms recovered by Delhi Police are marked 'Made in in England' or ' Made in USA', forensic examination of the weapons revealed that they were country-made.The report says the weapons, though country-made, are manufactured through imported machines or are from the Indian ordnance factories or imported.

According to the report, a few years ago, at least 32 units in various states were given licence to manufacture weapons. As the residents learnt process of making firearms, some started illegal manufacture of the weapons. They, however, continued to use the machines of the Indian ordnance factories. The illegal arms are then supplied to other states, including Delhi.

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