KATHMANDU: Taking frail law and order situation of the country due to political transition, there has been rise in smuggling of small arms into the Kathmandu Valley, which has caused a surge in crimes like murder‚ abduction and robbery.
Police informed that they confiscated 24 illegal firearms‚ arresting 44 people for the possession of these arms in the valley since April 2012.
Media reports quoted SSP Hemanta Bahadur Pal‚ spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Crime Division‚ as saying that 24 small arms‚ including pistols and country-made guns‚ were confiscated from various persons and criminal groups in 2069 BS. Though it is a record-low recovery of firearms from criminal gangs in the past three years compared to 46 in 2067 BS and 38 in 2068 BS‚ officials conceded that proliferation of illegal weapons continues unabated in the valley.
According to sources‚ a pistol fetches the racketeers up to Rs 100‚000 depending on the need of the prospective clients‚ who are extortionists and organized criminal gangs mostly.
On Tuesday‚ police raided a rented house at Mitranagar‚ and arrested four suspects with a cache of illegal weapons. The arrestees — Yam Bahadur Thapa‚ 23‚ of Gorkha‚ his sister-in-law Alisha Gurung‚ 20‚ of Gorkha‚ Pankaj Malla‚ 19‚ of Banke and Rudra Dahal‚ 25‚ of Morang — were held with a semi-automatic rifle‚ a revolver‚ bullets‚ swords‚ khukuris and knives.
Though Thapa‚ one of the detainees and former Maoist combatant‚ produced license for the German-made GST-5d Caliber 22 LRHV rifle and 53 bullets‚ officials said they were trying to establish if the user had misused the licensed weapon. The revolver and two bullets were found to be illegal.
Officials said the open Nepal-India border is becoming a haven for illegal arms traders‚ who are often attracted to the Capital to smuggle the weapons in the hope of making more money.
Meanwhile, the district police office, Jhapa informed that they recovered three muzzle-loaders from suspects in course of patrolling the forest.
According to police they ran away leaving behind the firearms and added that vigorous search is on to arrest the persons.
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