POLICE RECORDS suggest that most gun-related crimes were committed by outsiders in the Tricity.
The outsiders, say police officers, mostly use country-made pistols which are not registered anywhere and are hot favourites of criminals involved in gun-related crimes.
The police officers of Mohali, which has the highest number of arms licences in the Tricity, claim that in most of the gun-related crimes, the culprits are outsiders. Similar is the story of Chandigarh which is at second place in the Tricity as far as the number of registered weapons is concerned.
“Although we have the maximum number of arms licences registered in the district, the involvement of locals in gun-related crimes is very less as compared to the number of outsiders,” said a Mohali Deputy Superintendent of Police.
According to the records, Mohali has 6,700 arms licence holders while Chandigarh has 5,200. The 0.32 bore double barrel gun is the favourite weapon of the arms holders as around 4,000 people have registered this weapon in their name.
The Mohali police records reveal that six FIRs were registered in the district in the last eight months under Section 336 of the Indian Penal Code which include firing and endangering lives of the people with other acts.
“Shooting and firing are registered under Section 336 of the IPC. We have only six FIRs this year and all the FIRs do not involve shooting incidents. These also involve other incidents in which some individuals endangered the lives of other people,” said the DSP.
The Chandigarh Police has registered 14 cases under different sections of the Arms Act this year but these cases also include the recovery of weapons.
“The Arms Act does not mean firing or shooting incidents, it relates to the recovery of the weapons. The FIRs registered under Section 336 of the IPC are also very less. The high number of weapon licences registered does not mean that people use their weapons to commit crime,” said Chandigarh SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill.
Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said that the involvement of the outsiders in gun-related crime was a matter of concern.
Kharar has maximum number of arms licences
With over 3,000 arms licences, Kharar Sub-Division has the highest number of licensed weapons in Mohali. Experts have different views on the high number of arms licences in Kharar. Avtar Singh, who retired as an Inspector from Punjab Police, said that the Sub-Division was earlier a part of Ropar district and when it came under Mohali district, the licences registered in Ropar were transferred to Mohali district.
Gurpal Singh, who retired as a Deputy Superintendent of Police, relates the high number of weapons to the economic well-being of the people.
“When a person sells his one acre for Rs 2 crore then he tends to buy as many luxuries as he can. People think that weapons are a part of luxury and a status symbol, so having it always gives satisfaction to them. This is the main reason for the high number of licences,” said Gurpal Singh.
Jaswinder Pal Singh, who has a .32 bore pistol registered in his name, said that he bought it because it had now become a status symbol. Asked if the weapon could be misused, he said that it should be handled carefully.
According to him, most people do not get weapon licences to commit crimes, and criminals use unlicensed weapons to escape arrest.
* Some unidentified youths fired gunshots outside a discotheque in Sector 8 on June 2. The Chandigarh Police arrested only one person while three are said to be on the run. All the accused were outsiders.
* On January 12, 2015, a youth shot dead his one-time acquaintance Amandeep Kaur at a Phase V market. Two youths belonging to Ferozepur were recently convicted in
* In August 2015, four robbers targeted a cashier of UHBVN who had just left the UHBVN office in Power Colony, Industrial Area, to deposit cash. He was shot dead when one of the accused took the cash bag from him and he resisted. The police had also recovered three shells from the spot. The accused fled with the cash bag containing
Rs 9.5 lakh.
* In March 2015, four accused in a white Swift car allegedly attacked a petrol pump owner at the Sector 8 market in broad daylight soon after he got down from the car to deposit cash in a bank. Two gunshots were fired in the air and one at the victim, who suffered injuries on his right hand. The accused fled away with a cash bag containing
Rs 9.8 lakh.
* In January 2015, four accused in a white Swift car targeted a cash van of Amartex officials near Sector 14 when they were going to deposit cash in a bank in Sector 11. The accused threatened the official with a country-made weapon and fled with a cash bag containing Rs 7.5 lakh.