Weapons bank allows Bihar criminals to hire & fire

A new facility has come up for local gangsters, enabling them to hire a weapon of their choice to execute their dark deeds with precision.

The new breed of gangsters in the state are increasingly adopting the method of hiring weapons. Besides choosing the weapon, amateurs in the world of crime should also decide on the number of hours he is going to use the weapon as the gang lending the weapons has fixes the fee on hourly basis.

But 24 hours is the time-limit within which the weapon has to be returned. So, one has to shell out Rs 300 if he wishes to hire a “desi katta” (country-made pistol) for three hours or else he can pay Rs 500 for a day. However, he has to deposit security money with the lender. The security deposit is equivalent to the price of the firearm in the open market. A country-made 9 mm pistol is charged between Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 a day, and Rs 15,000 is the security deposit. For a country-made rifle, the charge is somewhere between Rs 500 to Rs 1000 but the deposit is around Rs 20,000.

Gangs say it is a win-win situation for both the borrower and lender. The fresh entrants to the crime world neither have access to professional arms dealers nor want to keep firearms with them for security reasons and the “hire and fire” facility has come to them as a boon. The lenders are quite rigid about the 24-hours time limit as there is risk of the borrower either losing the weapon or it being seized by the police. If in case the weapon is lost, it has to be compensated immediately.

Such modus operandi would have remained under the wraps had the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Danapur, SK Saroj, not carried out raids on hideouts of gangsters who, of late, were active on the outskirts of Patna, including Maner and Bihta region. The police seized a huge cache of arms, including a regular rifle of .315 bore, one 9 mm country-made pistol, three pistols of 7.65 bore and over 125 live cartridges. However, the main gangster Dikesh gave the police a slip.

“The equipment used for cleaning the firearms shows that these weapons were regularly used,” said the SDPO and added that they were keeping a tab on the movement of the main accused. “The arrest of Dikesh will shed more light in this case because such gang was earlier unheard of,” he said.

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