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Violent crimes down, many peddling arms and ammo are under 25, say police

Police on Saturday said they had arrested many "hardened" criminals and caught members of interstate gangs who supply arms and ammo to criminals and even juveniles.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi |
September 19, 2021 2:46:11 am
Police claim many of the interstate gangs were involved in murder and extortion.

While violent crimes saw a dip during the pandemic in the national capital owing to last year’s lockdown, the Delhi Police claim they have made “significant” arrests and seizures and stopped activities of several interstate gangs. In comparison to 2019, there has been a 15% drop in violent crimes in Delhi, police said.

Police on Saturday said they had arrested many “hardened” criminals and caught members of interstate gangs who supply arms and ammo to criminals and even juveniles.

According to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), more than 3,736 arms and 4,726 ammunition were seized by the Delhi Police in 2020.

A senior police officer said, “We can’t estimate the worth of these weapons properly since many are illegal and bought from different states such as Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. It is suspected that the arms are worth more than Rs 5 crores.”

Under the Arms Act, 1959, police arrested over 5,000 persons last year — most of the accused are men under the age of 25 with “no criminal record”, data shows.

“Many of these gangs operate from inside prison or from foreign locations. These gangsters approach juveniles and young men and ask them to either supply arms or help in other operations of the gang. We have been trying to zero in on these gangs and have arrested significant members. Most of them target juveniles through social media and lure them with pistols and money,” said the officer.

Police claim many of the interstate gangs were involved in murder and extortion.

In March, gangster Kuldeep Fajja was killed in a police encounter after he allegedly fled from GTB hospital with his associates. He was involved in the Chhatarsal Stadium brawl and murder in which two-time Olympian wrestler Sushil Kumar was arrested. In July, Special Cell arrested gangster Sandeep alias Kala Jathedi and his associate Anuradha Chaudhari. Jathedi is involved in over 40 cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping.

On the rise

According to police, cases of cyber fraud, cheating and forgery increased by 55% during the pandemic as compared to previous years. Police said that many “small groups” and individuals were trading in fake Indian currency notes (FICN) from factories in Delhi-NCR.

Data shows that fake notes with a face value of Rs 1.8 crore has been seized and gangs have been busted for trading and using the notes to cheat innocent businessmen and customers. These notes were heavily pumped into markets during the pandemic, police said.

A Delhi Police spokesperson said, “We have had instances where district police teams, Special Cell and Crime Branch had to register suo motu cases as the victims didn’t lodge an FIR.” This was because of the lockdown and also because the gangs operate in different states and police run into jurisdictional issues.

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