//Sariapada: A byword for illegal manufacture of guns

Sariapada: A byword for illegal manufacture of guns

Tuesday April 25 2006 14:17 IST

DHENKANAL: Twenty years and still going strong. Located just 8 km from the police headquarters and closer to Sadar police station, Sariapada village in the district is infamous for manufacture of pistols, guns and ammunition illegally.

Though the police and the administration are aware of this, the manufacture of arms and ammunition goes on with impunity. In fact, as per sources, the police have been planning to raid the village for the last two decades after making elaborate security arrangements.

Though police sources maintain that police teams and special squads have seized pistols, expensive guns, cartridges at different times in the district, no link was established to Sariapada. Recently, a police team had seized pistols and cartridges from a gang of robbers who attempted dacoity. The attempt was foiled and the dacoits were nabbed, but the culprits did not disclose the source of their arms and ammunition.

Anti-socials are encouraging villagers to manufacture arms, sources said, adding villagers supply those to criminals, in and outside the district, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

The business is very lucrative and the manufacturers, who have their own intelligence network, get advance payment.

One pistol maker, on condition of anonymity, said, “The police have statistics about our production and supply.“ Disturbed over the increasing crime rate in the district, a social activist broached the subject with the Vigilance officials at a meeting. He alleged that the police were deliberately turning a Nelson’s eye to the nefarious activity.

SP Bhakta Ballav Das said he would take measures against serious offences. Some senior police officers admitted to have heard of illegal manufacture of pistols in the district. However, the Sadar police are tight-lipped over the issue.