HYDERABAD (TIP): Various groups of extremists in India possess about 6 million smuggled weapons.
According to a study by Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament and Environmental Protection (IIPDEP), illegal guns produced in ‘cottage industries’ in Bihar and UP have been smuggled to all parts of the country including AP and Telangana, and most terror groups consider them to be the second choice for accumulating arms. The slain SIMI terror suspects had also acquired their arms from these places.
Four years back the five terror suspects who were shot dead in another encounter had got their arms from similar places.
The study shows that there are no effective measures introduced by the central or state governments to check the smuggling or eliminate the cottage industries, while the number of illegal arms have exceeded legal weapons.
According to Dr Balakrishna Kurvey, a senior official from IIPDEP, weapons are still smuggled through air, land and sea borders in the country.
“Chinese weapons reach major militant groups of North East, who then supply them to smaller groups. Earlier, it used to be the Mumbai underworld in the fore front of smuggling, now it’s the extremist groups inside our country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the arms culture in UP and Bihar are slowly spreading to other parts of the country. “Apart from selling weapons to the needy from other states, migrants from UP and Bihar bring the arms culture to whichever states they move to,” said Dr Kurvey.
Terror suspects, including slain militant Viquar Ahmed, acquired country-made weapons made in North India. “It’s not difficult in UP to buy a locally manufactured gun, which is as powerful as imported weapons. Militants can easily smuggle them to any part of India without getting caught,” said another expert from IIPDEP.
In Hyderabad, apart from extremists, several people, including rowdy-sheeters, robbers, realtors, and even small traders have illegal firearms.