The Telegraph
Monday , January 13 , 2014
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Alert over one-shot pistols

- Murders prompt police to mull drive against use-&-throw guns

The bullet rajas in the city just want tamancha to have the last word in murders.

In the past few crime incidents in the city, sharpshooters have increasingly used tamanchas, the country-made one-shot pistols. This has prompted police to think of launching a special drive against the gun.

At least three sensational murders, which hit the city in the past two months and remained unsolved till now, have been committed with the use of tamanchas, which use the .315 bore bullet each, police sources said. Besides, there have been several recoveries of the weapon too.

“The weapon is widely used in Patna although there has been a drop in the number of Arms Act cases in the city. In at least three big murders in the city the single-shot country-made pistol was used and cartridge shells of .315 bore were recovered from the scene of crime. This has made the police suspect that the pistols are in abundance in the city and one needs to start a drive aimed at confiscating them. A detailed plan regarding the same is being prepared. Starting next week, there will be intense checking of vehicles on streets,” Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj said.

The sources added that the said pistol was used in the murder of businessman Ramji Prasad Gupta on October 24 last year. Also, in the case of the murder of 70-year-old Lal Bahadur Singh at his Kankerbagh residence on the evening of December 25, the same pistol was used. It was also used in the murder of middle-aged Manoj Chaurasia at the Bihta overbridge on December 21.

“These weapons are easy to find and the police suspect they are being manufactured in certain areas of the city. They are affordable, costing anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000. In many cases, criminals use the cheaper version of the weapon for a single use. After the first shot, the pistol gets damaged and cannot be used to fire again. They cost anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000. We cannot disclose the area where they are being manufactured, though. Earlier, Patna had a few places and the weapon was mainly brought from Munger, which is a major centre of illegal arms manufacturing. But it now seems there are more such centres in Patna, intelligence inputs suggest,” another police officer said.

Sources said in the case of the murders of Gupta and Singh, their own sons were the primary suspects.

“The police will request a polygraph test on Gupta’s youngest son. Investigations suggest Gupta, above 60, had been a widower for some time and wanted to marry again. He had even found the woman he wanted to marry. He had six sons and the youngest one was feeling insecure that Gupta’s property would get divided further if he married again and had children. However, the police are yet to conclude anything,” a police officer said.

In Singh’s case, the police are looking for Sudhir, his son, who allegedly committed the crime for property, and is absconding.