In the last two days, Pune City Police’s Crime Branch has seized 452 sickles from different shops in the city. These sickles have a nine-inch-long curved blade.
The city has seen increased use of sharp weapons like sickles and swords in crimes, said police. During a press conference Thursday, Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Bachchan Singh said that in the last three years, sickles were used in as many as 545 offences registered with the Pune City Police, under sections 326 and 307 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt and attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Arms Act. “We have taken action against those who sell sharp weapons like sickles and swords,” said DCP Singh.
On Wednesday, a crime branch team raided a hardware shop in Mangalwar Peth and seized 11 sickles from the spot. An offence was lodged against shop owner Jaysingh Shamrao Pawar, who is facing similar charges in a case filed in January this year.
The same day, crime branch sleuths raided a hardware shop in Ganesh Peth and seized 131 sickles from the spot. An offence was lodged against the shop owner, Mahavir Brijlal Gupta. Police raided a spot on Shivaji Road on Friday and seized 229 sickles from the spot, and an offence was lodged against shop owners Nitin Naik and Ashish Naik.
A unit of the crime branch seized 81 sickles from another shop. “… The Arms Act specifies the length of the sharp weapon that a common man can use and possess. As per law, a common man can’t be in possession of a nine-inch-long blade,” said DCP Singh.
While the sickle sellers said they were selling the weapons to farmers, no such record was maintained by them, said police. Police said one sickle was being sold for Rs 200, but there was no system in place to verify the buyers. Investigation is on to ascertain from where the shop owners procured these sickles.