Lucknow: Subodh Kumar Singh, the Station House Officer (SHO) of Siyana police station in Bulandshahr district, was shot dead on Monday near Chingrawati village while trying to pacify a mob which had turned violent over alleged slaughtering of a cow that was found in nearby fields. A 21-year-old youth, Sumit, was also killed in police cross-firing.
The autopsy report of Singh suggested he was killed from a gunshot injury of a .32 bore pistol, according to District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha. An FIR registered at the Siyana police station names 27 people apart from 50-60 other unknown persons as accused for the murder of Singh. The FIR mentions that the protesters also snatched a pistol and three mobile phones from Singh.
The .32 bore pistol is a public bore and it comes under the ‘non-prohibited’ category of arms. While social media posts from Bulandshahr suggested that Singh was killed from his own service revolver, the Uttar Pradesh police use either 9mm pistol or a .38 bore revolver, which come under the ‘prohibited’ category of arms.
According to a Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer, who has worked several years in the Western region of the state which is prone to gang violence, the .32 bore guns are among the favorite of notorious elements in the state because its cartridges are easily available. “Making a gun is easy as it does not require much material. The technology behind a country-made gun is very easy but making cartridges is almost impossible. The technology of making cartridges is very complicated which is why people who make country pistols stick to the .32 bore,” the officer said on the condition of anonymity.
The .32 calibre means the internal diameter of the gun shaft measures .32 inches or 8.12mm. This is the most common non-prohibited ammunition available in India. “People will make only that gun whose cartridges are easily available in the market and you will never find a 7.62 mm country made gun,” he said.
It may be mentioned that in August last the Meerut police unearthed an illegal arm factory running in the Sardhana area and seized about 400 finished and unfinished country made pistols.
According to a police inspector posted with the Sardhana police station, there has been a spike in the demands of country made pistols due to the elections due next year. The haul included several .32 bore guns as well, he adds. According to Dilshad Ahamad, the owner of Janata Gun stores in Muzaffarnagar, a license holder of a .32 bore pistol can buy 200 cartridges in a year and 100 cartridges at once.
“The rate of a .32 bore cartridge is Rs 130 in Muzaffarnagar and Rs 120 in Meerut. One cannot buy more than 200 cartridges in a year as per the new license rule,” Ahamad said.
Another gun store owner from Muzaffarnagar on the condition of anonymity told this reporter that licensed gun holders usually sell off their remaining cartridges for at least Rs 200 to Rs 250 per piece in the black market and people buy them without negotiating the prices.
While agreeing that the .32 bore is popular among criminals because it is non-prohibited and easily available, Anand Lal Bannerji, former director-general of UP Police, emphasised that the incident of violence at Bulandshahr and the subsequent killings had nothing to do with criminal gangs of western .
“It is something else. If the administration turns a blind eye towards ‘cow vigilantism’ where a human life is of much lesser value than a cow, this is bound to happen. In case of any offence against human body, the law should come into effect automatically. The rule of law means that there shouldn’t be any distinction,” says Bannerji, adding: “Here distinction is being made. The result is that people are taking law into their hands."
The author is a freelance writer and member of 101Reporters.com
Updated Date: Dec 04, 2018 16:08 PM