VILLUPURAM: As many as 115 country-made guns were seized over the weekend in Kalvarayan hills, taking the total number of guns to 315 — the highest ever haul in the State.
Police had recently told village representatives in the region to ask villagers to surrender their arms to avoid police action.
On Saturday, 75 guns were found abandoned on the bank of the Kendikkal canal. The guns were handed over to Kariyalur police. On Sunday, police seized 40 more guns dumped at Thoradipattu, Kalpadai, Paranginatham, Pottiyam, and Mayambadi villages.
With this, the total number of seized guns rose to 308, according to a police source.
This is first time in the history of Tamil Nadu that this big a cache of guns has been seized, said a police source. Prior to this, the biggest seizure was in 2006, when 250 guns were seized in Jamunamarathur hills in Tiruvannamalai district.
Interestingly, the then SP of Tiruvannamalai, Murugan, is now the DIG of Villupuram zone.
Police inquiry is on in nearby districts like Salem, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri as they suspect that some guns might have been sold there.
More guns are also expected to be seized, said a police source.
Recently, based on Villupuram district SP V Vikaraman’s order, a police team went on a sudden raid in Kalvarayan hills and found an illegal gun-making facility at Paapathimoolai village.
At that time police arrested Subramani (50) of Puthrampettai village, who runs the facility and ten people, who had come there to buy the illegal firearms. In the inquiry, police found that Subramani had been working abroad and had left his job to manufacture guns. They also found that he had sold these guns to nearly 1,000 people over five years.
Based on the information, police tightened raids and seized several more guns from various parts of Kalvarayan hills.
It was at this time that the district SP organised a meeting with village representatives and asked them to inform the villagers to surrender their guns to avoid action against them.
Since then, several residents have been surrendering the Single Barrel Muzzle Loading guns in police stations, with some of them also dumping them in public places to mask their identity.