The police on Thursday recovered a cache of firearms – likely intended to be used during the polls – from riot-hit Shamli district, in addition to uncovering three illegal arms manufacturing units in Kairana. A total of 203 countrymade pistols and shotguns, and around 500 semi-assembled firearms were recovered. Police recovered instruments used for assembling firearms. One person, identified as Moti Ram of Pratapgarh district, was arrested while six others, all Shamli residents, managed to escape.
“Moti Ram has revealed that the weapons were being carried to be delivered to different gangs to be used during elections. This claim will be verified, and details about those who placed demands for the weapons will be known after the main accused who escaped are caught,” Shamli SP Dr Ajay Pal told The Indian Express.
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According to officials who led the operation on Thursday evening, they stopped an i20 and a Swift Dzire at Gandarau crossing in Kairana police station area following a tip-off. Seven persons travelling in the cars fled, firing at the police team when pursued, but Moti Ram was caught.
While searching the vehicles, police found 80 countrymade pistols and 123 countrymade shotguns. Police are collecting details about the owners of the cars, who belong to Haryana and Ghaziabad.
During questioning, Moti Ram reportedly said the recovered weapons are assembled at different manufacturing units run by the people who escaped. He also revealed that each shotgun is sold between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000, while countrymade pistols are sold at a rate of Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000. Following this, police raided places locations in Khurgan and Dabehrikhurd and unearthed illegal arms manufacturing units, from where more firearms were recovered, said SP Shamli.
The six who escaped have been identified as Furkan alias Kurban, Alim, Gayur, Khursheed and Sarvar, son of Kaamil, and Sarvar, son of Hameed. The police are collecting information on the backgrounds of Moti Ram and the other accused, Pal added.