Delhi's thriving illegal arms bazaar has authorities in a fix
By Sumit Kumar Singh | Express News Service | Published: 21st August 2016 04:25 AM |
As it grapples with rising gun crime, procuring a firearm in Delhi is as easy as ordering takeaway. AK-47s, Chinese Star pistols, Walther PPKs and more are available for the gangster or terrorist who shops with ease in the city’s gun bazaar. Incidents of gun-related deaths have gone up in Delhi.
A Delhi Police constable was shot dead over the weekend by bag snatchers, a first of its kind. Earlier, Delhi Police’s Anti-Terror Unit busted an international gang of gun smugglers after a firefight, and confiscated sophisticated arms and ammunition. The days of ‘shooters’ using country-made pistols or even Indian-made handguns are over. Automatic guns are the norm.
A Mauser pistol is available for Rs 50,000. Self-Loading Rifles (SLRs) go for Rs 1.5 lakh. The terrorists’ favourite, the AK-47, is on the market for Rs 2.5 lakh. A Walter PPK can be bought for Rs 3 lakh. Till July 31, the Delhi Police had seized around 500 illegal firearms and 6,553 pieces of ammunition.
The city’s big-time gunrunners operate in Outer, East and North-east Delhi and are known to use children and women as couriers to deliver arms to buyers from outside the states. Last year, the police recovered 431 guns and 5,153 ammunition of different types. In 2014, the haul was 868 firearms and 20,794 pieces of ammunition.
“The Delhi market in illegal arms is huge,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Pramod Singh Kushwah, posted at anti-terror unit of Delhi Police. Arms are supplied by Pakistan’s terror organisations through the porous border with Nepal and are sold at different parts of the country to terrorists and gangsters.
Gunrunners operating in Darra Khel, Pakistan, and Chinese dealers in Myanmar supplied the firearms seized in Delhi, which are bought by ganglords for their men to commit extortion and murders.
Gunrunning is organized by agents in capital whose main business is supplying illegal arms and ammunition. Middlemen get the mobile numbers of agents and reach Delhi using private vehicles from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
They contact the person on the mobile number given to them, collect the arms and ammunition and leave the city the same day.
The middlemen earn around Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 each trip to Delhi. If the agents demand sophisticated firearms, the price goes up. They can be nabbed only if police intercept the middlemen. Once the arms are delivered to agents, you can forget about their recovery.
Apart from Kushwah, two other Deputy Commissioners of Police Sanjeev Yadav and Bhisham Singh have nabbed the maximum number of gunrunners in the national capital.