WITH THE seizure of sophisticated German and American pistols last month, Delhi Police said they have recovered more firearms this year compared to last year. As many as 460 firearms were recovered this year — 30 more than those recovered in 2015.
However, police pointed out that the capital is becoming a transit point of the illegal arms trade due to regular inflow of firearms from other states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Investigation into the recent recovery of firearms showed they were smuggled through Pakistan, said officials.
On August 18, a team of Delhi Police’s Special Cell team recovered weapons — one made in Germany (Walther) and the other in US (Sig Sauer) — from two suspects in Uttar Pradesh. The suppliers were arrested following a shootout between them and police personnel near ISBT Sarai Kale Khan, said police.
They claimed to have recovered eight more pistols manufactured in China and Russia from the duo. This year, police have arrested 500 persons in connection with 428 arms cases. Last year, 811 persons were arrested and 700 cases were reported according to police data.
While 5,153 rounds of ammunition were recovered in 2015, as many as 6,636 rounds have been recovered till August this year. Police said the weapons seized this year include .32 bore pistols, .22 bore pistols, single and double barrel guns, and .315 bore rifles. In June, sophisticated firearms, including a US army pistol and a foreign-made laser light equipped gun, were recovered from two interstate gangsters involved in a series of murders in Haryana and Delhi, added police.
On August 26, another Special Cell team recovered 20 semi-automatic sophisticated .32 bore pistols manufactured in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district. Sources said police have identified two other districts in MP, Khargone and Sendhwa, from where the consignments are smuggled out. Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut and Aligarh, and Bihar’s Munger are considered manufacturing hubs of illegal guns, said sources.
DCP (special cell) P S Kushwaha said, “The increase in inflow of weapons in the city might be one of the reasons for the recovery of such a large quantity of firearms this year. But our detection of cases has also increased.”
While police have recovered Indian-made or country-made weapons in most cases, the DCP said the recent recovery of foreign-made pistols was alarming. “Country-made pistols are commonly used by local criminals, which they buy in bulk. But foreign weapons are expensive and were probably smuggled by gangsters,” he added.