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Fear factor: Toy guns can spell jail in Jamshedpur

The decree comes after several cases in which robbers and snatchers used toy guns to scare their victims

By Kumud Jenamani in Jamshedpur
  • Published 18.10.19, 1:27 AM
  • Updated 18.10.19, 1:27 AM
  • 2 mins read
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A toy shop at Bistupur market in Jamshedpur on Thursday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta for representational purpose only

Toy sellers in the steel city will be prosecuted under the Arms Act if found selling toys that look like real guns.

The police decree comes after several cases came to the fore in which robbers and snatchers used toy guns to scare their victims.On September 10 morning, two motorcycle-borne criminals barged into the cash-office of a nursing home at Ulidih in Mango and decamped with Rs 26,000 from the cashier at gun-point, leading the victim to lodge an FIR with Ulidih police.

On October 14, the police cracked the case by arresting two youths — Sheikh Jumman and Randhir Kumar — for committing the crime at the nursing home. What surprised the investigating police was that the pistol that the two criminals had used were toys.Similarly, a gang of criminals had swooped over a cloth merchant’s house near Dhalbhum Club in Ambagan under the jurisdiction of Sakchi police station in August.

The criminals had decamped with a scooter from the cloth merchant’s house by brandishing a pistol. But when the police cracked the case, the pistol that had been used in the robbery was a toy again.In April this year, two motorcycle-borne criminals had allegedly shot at a doctor near a Baradwari nursing home, leading the victim Dr S.K. Kundu lodge an FIR with the Sitaramdera police station.

The police detected the case by taking a closed-circuit television camera footage and arrested two youths. But during the investigation, the police found out that the gun used in the alleged shooting was a toy gun. According to the police the gun shots even sounded like real ones.Of late, criminals tend to commit crimes such as snatching, loot and robbery by using toy guns in place of real ones in the steel city, obviously to evade harsher punishments if caught with a real gun.

Concerned with the change of strategy in committing the crime, the police have taken steps to stop the sale of toy guns at toy shops here.Officer-in-charge of Sakchi police station Rajiv Singh confirmed that in the past one year criminals have started snatching and loot by using toy guns instead of the real ones.

“There are toy pistols, especially Made in China ones, which look real and may cause fear in anyone’s mind if stuck on the ribs or at the head by the criminals. Since it is a dangerous trend for the society if not a life risk, we have started looking out for toy guns on sale at the market. Even toy shopkeepers will be prosecuted under the arms act if found selling guns that resemble real ones,” Singh told The Telegraph.

Singh said criminals tend to use toy guns increasingly because such things are easily available in the market and law does not take such cases seriously despite the police arresting the criminals under the arms act.There are about a dozen toy shops in Bistupur and Sakchi. One of the toy shops at Bistupur confirmed about keeping a stock of the kind of toy pistols which resemble genuine ones.

“We used to keep a stock of toy pistols, but have stopped keeping them after instructions from the police,” a toy shop owner at Bistupur said.