The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 4 , 2014
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Modern pistols replace Munger arms tradition

Patna, March 3: Gone are the days of kattas or country-made single-barrel guns. It’s time for replica of modern arms.

The seizure of semi-finished weapons from an illegal mini gun factory at Dasnagar in Bengal’s Howrah yesterday has added a new dimension to the trade going on unabated in Munger for the past several years.

Inspector-general (operations) Amit Kumar said the Munger-based unauthorised manufacturers were adept in making all sorts of weapons, especially those ones, which are in great demand. “These days, manufacturers are more interested in making short-range weapons — a switchover to the traditional business of making single-barrel guns, rifles among others,” he said.

Kumar, who is monitoring the operations being carried out in Bihar and Bengal, said on Monday that the demand of long-range weapons has decreased in the past few years. As a result, these manufacturers have switched over to making short-range firearms like 9mm pistols or those of .76 bore, which are the favourites of the new breed of criminals.

Kumar revealed that the components of .76 bore and 9mm pistols such as barrel, body, sliding and more were found during Sunday’s operation. These components were made in Bengal and subsequently smuggled to Munger and assembled there before supplied to the clients.

He added that other components of the most sought-after firearms such as trigger, firing pin and spring etc were available in the local market (Munger). However, big components were made only in Bengal and supplied to the Munger-based manufacturers. Moreover, raw materials such as iron and steel were available in Bengal that might have compelled the Munger manufacturers to depend on their Bengal counterparts, he said. He added that the weapons were given only the finishing touches in Munger.

A 9 mm pistol is sold for Rs 1 lakh in Delhi market. The weapon, which is easy to handle and considered fit for short-range firing, may fetch more money in other states like Punjab and southern states. There have been instances of weapons made in Munger supplied to Nepal and Bangladesh because of their solid make and reliability.

Kumar, however, dismissed the report that hike in the prices of illegal weapons in view of more demand during elections. “In the past few years, there has been less violence compared to earlier elections. So, it would not be prudent to say that the demand of illegal weapons increases during elections,” he said.

Three alleged arms suppliers — Sarfaraz, Hasan Imam and Mohammad Azhar — who were arrested from Munger’s Kasim Bazar on Saturday, told the interrogators that they had bought the firearms from Dasnagar for supply to the clients in Bihar.

Three arrested

Three alleged arms suppliers — Satish Paswan, Navin Kumar and Mithu Kumar — were arrested and one carbine, two magazines, one 9 mm pistol and 140 live cartridges were seized from an area falling under the jurisdiction of Rajauli police station in Nawada district on Monday.