Ragpicker finds 3 dismantled rifles in garbage heap

Three dismantled India-made rifles found dumped in Mulund has triggered a police probe to zero-in on the owners. The rifles were found by a 12-year-old ragpicker.

According to Mulund police, ragpicker Akash Gade was on Thursday rummaging a garbage dump near Rachna Housing Society in Bhandup when he found a khaki-coloured satchel afternoon.

Finding the bag quite heavy, he opened it hoping it would have metal pieces that could fetch him a good price from scrap dealers. However, on finding the dismantled guns, he hid bag near a water pipeline that runs through the area.

He went home and informed his father who got in touch with a local social worker. The social worker informed Mulund police on Friday.

"We recovered the bag and put together three single-shot rifles from the parts found inside the bag. They had been cut into pieces. A complaint has been registered against unknown persons under relevant section of the Arms Act as well as for destruction of evidence under the IPC. Further inquiries are on," said Assistant Commissioner of Police N M Madne, Mulund Division.

The police said the rifles were made in India and are of kind where the barrel has to be opened from the base to push a round of ammunition inside.

They are the kind of rifles mostly used by farmers for crop protection, and police say prima facie their owners might not have had licences and may have tried to get rid of them fearing police action, an officer said.

The Crime Branch had recently arrested 21 Poonch natives for allegedly violating licence rules for firearms, which they were using in their profession as security guards.

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