Saturday, December 27, 2014

Illegal Cottage Industry Guns in India

The report on Indian illegal arms manufacture shows the limits of "gun control".  Consider how much easier it is for Americans, with electricity and common, cheap power tools, to make more sophisticated arms.  Yet these simple single shot pistols and revolvers are sufficient for murder.

Yet, Farrukhabad, about a 9-hour drive from New Delhi and the headquarters of an Uttar Pradesh district, has the distinction, albeit dubious, of being a key north Indian hub of a flourishing illegal firearms industry. Until some years ago, the district centred on the town had the country’s highest murder rate.

It is famous for so-called country-made guns, crude but deadly and requiring no licence to possess, used to carry out at least five high-profile crimes, including the murder of television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, in New Delhi in 2008.


Gun-making is a kind of cottage industry in towns across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, says former Delhi police commissioner Ved Marwah. “The law and order situation in these parts being what it is, crime has become a very profitable activity. And the easiest way of getting arms to make an illicit arm. It is cheap and effective in committing a crime,” he says.
According to assistant police commissioner Bhagat, in an effort to combat the problem, Delhi Police regularly interacts with counterparts in states including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Uttarakhand. But the influx of small illegal arms into the Capital continues. Experts say professional criminals favour crude country-made weapons because they can be easily destroyed after the crime. 

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