BHOPAL: The announcement of Lok Sabha poll schedule has not only made politicians busy but also the inter-state gunrunners sourcing semi-automatic pistols from jungles of Madhya Pradesh, who are hoping to make big bucks ahead of the polls.
Sources in MP Police’s Special Task Force (MP STF) said that the spurt in demand for illegal semi-automatic pistols — made in jungles and hillocks of West MP — has jacked up prices of these guns by up to 50%.
According to sources, the rising demand from gunrunners in UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Vindhya and Gwalior-Chambal region of MP have increased the prices of guns made by the Sikigars (a community skilled for generations in weapon making).
“Investigation has revealed that the semi-automatic guns made by Sikligars, earlier priced around Rs 6,000 each are now being supplied to other states for Rs 10,000. Guns priced around Rs 8,000 are now fetching up to Rs 13,000 from inter-state gunrunners operating in other parts of MP and adjoining states,” said an STF source.
The primary demand for ‘Made in MP’ Sikligar guns comes from UP and Rajasthan.
“Questioning those arrested in the three cases has revealed that gunrunners sourcing arms from Sikligars are selling them for prices ranging between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000 in other states. Knowing that the inter-state borders will be on high alert, the gun runners of UP, Rajasthan and other states are sourcing guns in large numbers from Sikligars in MP,” the STF source added.
The issue was also discussed at a high-level meeting of senior police officials of MP, UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh at the MP State Police headquarters in Bhopal last Friday.
“We are running dedicated drives against gun runners. In the last three weeks, around 250 guns have been seized by our teams. Rajasthan DGP Kapil Garg said that intelligence on gunrunning operations should be swiftly shared between MP and Rajasthan and we are working on it,” MP DGP VK Singh said.
The issue of coordination to stop the flow of illegal cash and liquor was discussed.
“We have decided to work in a more coordinated manner for sharing real-time intelligence on issues, including Left Wing Extremism and criminals against whom standing warrants are pending,” said Singh.