February 20, 2018
Image credit : Illustrative Image
The big guns of Delhi’s underworld are now getting their arms from Rajasthan.
Ditching the old trend of buying illegal weapons from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, gangsters in the Capital have turned to manufacturers in Ajmer, Bharatpur and Alwar who are luring criminals with complementary fake licences along with attractive deals on sophisticated country-made pistols.
Over the past year, Delhi Police has arrested several arms peddlers from Rajasthan who were supplying illegal weapons to criminals in the city.
The department’s special cell on Monday said it has arrested three suspected arms traffickers including the kingpin of the Rakesh Rathore gang from Rajasthan. This syndicate primarily caters to buyers in Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh.
These three suspects have been identified as Rakesh Rathore, Kamlesh and Alok Jaiswal. They were held near the Commonwealth Games Village link road on Saturday with 21 sophisticated country-made pistols along with four live cartridges while they had come to deliver a consignment.
Sources in Rajasthan ATS told Mail Today said there are several gangs involved in the manufacturing of illegal fire arms and in providing fake licenses. “These manufacturers-cum-smugglers are operating in villages of Ajmer, Bharatpur, Alwar,” the source added.
“These villages include Bilakh, Daula Ka Baas, Jurhari, Sesan, Sikari, Gopalgarh, Papda, Jatur, Alla, Andwari, Katholi, Ladmaka, Pathrali, Satwari and Gaunsia in Bharatpur; and Palpur, Kharkhadi, Gvalanda, Nyana, Saidampur, Sirthali and Bhansdawat in Alwar.”
Senior officials in Delhi Police said the arms are being smuggled from Rajasthan by road. “The peddlers create false cavities in the cars and hide the firearms. These guns are then sold in bulk to traders who distribute them across the country,” an officer said.
Crimes involving illegal firearms in Rajasthan are comparatively less than in UP and Bihar. However, the state is reporting increasing cases of weapons smuggling and manufacturing.
Explaining the reason behind the demand of Rajasthan-made firearms, a senior official said, “The supply of these firearms is comparatively easier than accessing those supplied from Bihar and UP.”
Rajasthan ATS recently carried out raids at more than a dozen places in the state as well as Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, and busted an interstate gang of arms suppliers. The syndicate was involved in preparing fake arms licenses also.
Hundreds of illegal gun permits, weapons and cartridges were recovered from the kingpin of the ring in Ajmer. Hundreds of illegal arms licences were recovered along with guns and cartridges, senior anti-terrorism squad (ATS) officers said.
Sources said many people are on the ATS radar and more arrests could follow. “In the last five months, more than 500 people have been interrogated by the squad in connection with the smuggling of guns.
Nearly 450 gun licenses prepared fraudulently have been recovered,” sources in Rajasthan said. Police say more than 1,000 people from Rajasthan, including industrialists, mine owners and jewellers have got arms licences made from Jammu.
“The three accused who were arrested were waiting for the buyer near Commonwealth village. Two of them had got down from the car with bags in their hands while the driver stayed inside. Our team moved in quickly and the two men with bags tried to flee but were caught after a brief chase,” said PS Kushwah, DCP of Delhi Police’s special cell.
The three accused have old criminal cases registered against them, police said. Rathore has four cases against him, ranging from drug supply to extortion and Arms Act.
“Rakesh’s father was mentally challenged and his mother died when Rakesh was young. He worked as a labourer for a few years before becoming a gun runner,” a police officer said.