It's a tough time for cops in trigger-happy Chambal

It's a tough time for cops in trigger-happy Chambal

Trigger-happy Chambal is still reeling under the legacy of dacoits such as Malkhan Singh. DH PHOTO

As the drumbeats of campaigning fall silent, cops in the ravines of Chambal are having a tough time maintaining peace in the region, where guns rule the roost.

The Madhya Pradesh Police are stretched to their extremes when it comes to controlling celebratory firing in the region, where a person's status is based on the guns he possesses.

Illegal guns galore in the region that saw the writ of dreaded dacoits such as Malkhan Singh, Mohar Khan and Nirbhay Singh Gujjar.

Only on Sunday, an altercation between the Congress and BJP supporters in the village of Rurai led to an exchange of fire between the warring groups, prompting the police to round up nine people.

According to the police, there are a staggering 80,000 licensed guns in the Gwalior-Bhind-Morena region and getting the gun owners to deposit the weapons at a police station in view of the elections is a tall task.

Almost every police station area in Morena has 1,000 to 1,400 licensed weapons coming under it. In the nearby Mehgaon, a town with a population of 22,000, 1,900 firearms have been deposited at the police station.

There is a ban on firing in public places but the rule is hardly followed as no marriage is complete without celebratory gun shots.

In the trigger-happy land, a gun license is also a sure ticket for a job. Many youths in the region are hired as security guards and those owning a gun earn a premium.