None of us can forget the many Bollywood movies whose plot centered on mafia, gangs & illegal weapons. Stars brandishing guns is not uncommon in our movies. We also remember Vitthalbhai Radadiya, then a Congress MP and now a BJP MP brandishing his gun at a toll booth and pointing his gun towards the toll booth operator in 2012. But what about the seizure /confiscation of illegal firearms/weapons? Data about seizure /confiscation of illegal firearms/weapons is available from 2012 and below is an analysis. It is to be noted that weapons include all type of such as AK47/56, Pistols, Carbine, Revolvers, Guns, Rifles and country made weapons etc.
All India Numbers
|Year||2012||2013||2014||2015 (up to January)||Total|
While the number of illegal weapons seized remained more or less constant from 2012 to 2014, the number of persons arrested has more than doubled from 2012 to 2014. Reasons for this sudden increase in arrests is not known though certain states like Uttar Pradesh have seen a phenomenal rise in arrests. In fact, Uttar Pradesh accounts for more than 50% of the arrests in all the three years.
Top 10 States in terms of Seizure of illegal weapon
|Rank||State||Arms||Person Arrested||Percentage out of Total Arms Seized||Percentage out of Total Persons Arrested|
|4||Jammu & Kashmir||1830||194||5.08%||0.59%|
For the period starting 2012, Uttar Pradesh tops the list both in terms of number of illegal weapons seized & persons arrested. It leaves the other states so far behind that 47% of the total illegal weapons seized and 61% of the total persons arrested in the country are from UP. Bihar is a distant second with 6.3% of the seized weapons and West Bengal stands third with 5.67%. It is also interesting to note that there is no correlation between seizure of illegal weapons and arrests. Though 857 illegal weapons have been seized in Uttaranchal, not a single person is arrested.
Only in 6 out of the 29 states, more persons are arrested than the number of arms seized. In the rest of the states, the number of persons arrested is less than the number of arms seized. Not a single illegal weapon has been seized in Goa from 2012 till date.
What steps is the Government taking?
While the Government maintains that a realistic assessment of the number of illegal weapons in the country is not feasible, it has undertaken a host of steps to prevent proliferation of illegal weapons. The steps include
- The State and UT Governments have been urged to make sustained and continued efforts to unearth unlicensed/illegal arms.
- Constant patrolling and surveillance of international borders to check illegal trade/ movement of Arms.
- Up gradation of intelligence network and holding coordination meetings among para- military forces at functional and directional levels. Better coordination is also ensured among the Central Para-Military Forces, the Army and the State Police Forces.
- Ministry of Home Affairs has launched “National Database on Arms Licence (NDAL)” for uploading of details of Arms licence issued by State /Central licencing authorities to be completed by 1st October, 2015. Any Arms not registered in this Database will be treated as illegal and will be prone to legal action.
Let’s hope the government’s efforts are successful.
Data Source: Unstarred Question Number1375, Ministry of Home Affairs, Answered on 03.03.2015 in the Lok Sabha.