The Chandigarh Police is yet to apprehend supplier of illegal arms in connection with recently arrested around dozen criminals, including a few members of organised gangs in Chandigarh. Since the murder of former student leader Gurlal Brar, 11 people were arrested at various nakas for possessing illegal arms along with cartridges. Most of them were remanded in police custody to ascertain the source of weapons. However, the police are yet to make any headway.
Fifteen illegal weapons along with 59 cartridges were seized from people in Chandigarh in the last one month. Most of these people were arrested at intensive police nakas, a strategy being followed after the intervention of none other than UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore, who had voiced his concern over the repeated shooting incidents in Chandigarh. Intensive/dominant nakas were started from October 15, five days after the killing of Brar. Two assailants had pumped at least three bullets into the body of the former student leader. A total of nine bullets were fired.
SP (city) Vinit Kumar said, “We are in the process of identifying the suppliers. That is why arrested persons are being taken into police remand. We cannot divulge the details at this stage. Some of the arrested people claimed during interrogation that they procured weapons from UP. We are taking all the steps, including the cooperation of other states police forces, for capturing the suppliers. So far, names of many suppliers came to light. Efforts are on to establish their identities, hideouts. We are pursuing this aspect sincerely.”
Sources said interrogation of apprehended persons suggests the maximum cost of a country-made weapon is Rs 14,000. Some of them revealed that they even procured a desi pistol for Rs 4,000. Suppliers never disclose their real identities. They supplied them at roadside eatries/dhabas, outside bus stands, railway stations. In the majority of cases, suppliers work through middlemen.
A SHO requesting anonymity said, “Even people carrying licensed weapons need specific permission for carrying their weapons in Chandigarh. A person having an armed licence of Punjab, Haryana and any other states also requires permission to carry weapons in Chandigarh. The permission is being given by the office of Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh.”
Five persons, including the Bathinda district Youth Congress president, Lakhwinder Singh, were arrested for possessing illegal arms on Saturday night. The five are in police custody for ascertaining the names of their suppliers. Sandeep Kumar, alias Natta, a member of Lawrence Bishnoi gang, had revealed that he had procured the country-made weapon from a Muzaffarnagar resident. Sandeep was arrested on October 25. A team of operations cell arrested Natta on October 25.
Counsel claims weapon was licensed
A defence counsel of one of the suspects out of five arrested for possessing unauthorised weapons submitted an affidavit that the seized weapon is a licensed weapon and was accidentally left in the four-wheeler of the person. Sources said though the counsel maintained that the weapon is licensed, the license holder is yet to appear before the police. A police officer said, “So far, no licence holder came before us. The counsel of one of the accused claimed that the weapon was licensed. But we are yet to receive any hard evidence.”
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