Munger’s gunrunners are back, so are their tormentors

It was after a similar series of incidents in 2012 that the Special Cell of Delhi Police constituted a separate research and development team focussing on Munger and an intelligence network was built based upon the research, said a senior police official. He further said that the network has been braced up for carrying out intensive operations, keeping in view the recent spate of incidents, showing the audacity of criminals committing crime in broad daylight with arms, in most cases, being reportedly sourced from Munger.

Soon after the initiative was taken up, four quick operations executed by the special police team in the second half of 2012 led to the recovery of 26 Munger-made pistols, but the team penetrated deeper into the nexus, said a police source. With the help of that, around nine operations were carried out in the following year and around 213 pistols were recovered. Several carriers were intercepted and agents were arrested in Delhi. In fact, 99 pistols along with 99 spare magazines were recovered after a particular month-long operation, revealed the records maintained by Delhi Police.

In 2014, the team also started raiding illegal arms factories in Munger and places around Mujjaffarnagar and Aligarh, which were reportedly used as transit points. The team recovered around 243 pistols and also came across factories trying to produce rifles and seven of them were recovered. In one of the cases, the police also recovered one improvised AK-47, said the police source.

“A Munger-made pistol can pistol can fire seven to eight rounds easily as compared to the Desi Katta’s (country-made pistol) capability of one round at a time. So Munger guns are highly preferred by criminals in cities, who want to create panic by random firing rather than executing specific targets,” said a source.

The story of gun-making in Munger is more than 200 years old. Gun factories in Munger were a major source of arms and ammunition during several wars, including both the World Wars. There was a time when the arms and ammunition industry there employed almost half the district’s population.

After Independence, the government gave license to only 36 gun factories. And after the India-China war in 1962, hundreds of illegal gun factories shut down and thousands of people turned jobless. The industry received a major blow in the 80s, when the government started hunting them down. The gun making skills, however, passed through generation and Munger turned into a cottage industry for guns.
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