NAMAKKAL: Police have instructed tribals in Kolli Hills to surrender illegal country-made guns and warned of action if the weapons are seized by police.
According to sources, though illegal manufacturing of explosives stopped a few years ago, the tribals were not ready to surrender the country made guns. The weapons used by the tribals were made decades ago as there were no manufacturers at present, police said.
"Around 40 years ago, human population on the hills was less and farmers used country-made pistols to protect their agricultural produce and lands from wild animals like wild boar, porcupines etc. Every house had a weapon then. But now the hill has developed to become a taluk and the population has crossed 75,000. Even though the wild animal population is less on the hills, the tribals still continue to hoard country-made guns and unlicensed pistols. They see the possession of the weapon as pride," the sources said.
People are now weapons to threaten people and settle disputes related to land and money. To prevent such activities, police regularly raid the hills to seize the guns. The sources said the police also ran several campaigns encouraging the tribals to surrender the guns, by promising that no action would be taken against them.
Namakkal Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Suresh said most of the guns had been recovered from the people due to awareness campaigns and multiple raids. "In 2021, people handed over 80 country-made Single Barrel Muzzle Loading (SMBL) weapons voluntarily." the official said.
The DSP asked the tribals to deposit the illegal weapons at a secret place and inform the nearest police station or call the district special branch at 94981-01020.
- Twenty cases were booked under25(1B) (a) of arms 1959 act, forhaving illegal guns in 2021.
- From 2019 to till date, a total of 117 guns were seized from the tribal people. Few guns were sent to the forensic lab for testing purposes.