Police seek sample of each ‘test bullet’ sold in market
KARACHI, Dec 2: In their attempt to regulate arms trade, Sindh police authorities have sought that a sample of each ‘test bullet’ sold by the arms dealers across the province be submitted to their forensic division to keep track of every licensed weapon to see if it is not used in any criminal activity, it emerged on Sunday.
The proposal was made at a recent meeting of police high-ups with senior officials of the Sindh home department that led to a formal request by the Sindh inspector general to the additional chief secretary (home) for making it part of the upcoming Sindh Arms Act, 2012.
“The Sindh police have requested for incorporating a clause or two in the draft of the Sindh Arms Act, 2012,” said an official privy to the meeting’s details.
“They seek more regulation in the arms trade across Sindh and bring into the fold the arms dealers of the province. The crux of the proposal is that the Sindh police wanted that a sample of every test bullet sold by the arms dealers be submitted to the forensic lab.”
The feature would help, he said, in maintaining a record of the licensed weapons and in future if they were used in any criminal activity, the investigators would lose no time in reaching the licensees of the particular arms.
“The police in multiple cases have found use of licensed arms in criminal activities that ranged from mugging to homicide. One can’t rule out that possibility. So a policy defined on these lines would help keep a permanent check on the use of licensed arms and to a large extent discourage their use in any such activity,” he said.
Amid growing concern and criticism from almost all quarters against the arms culture mainly in Karachi, the Sindh government is set to give a nod to the Sindh Arms Act, 2012 that on the one hand would lead to computerisation of all arm licences and, on the other, enhance penalties against those using or carrying illegal weapons.
Apart from the illegal weapons, the unprecedented increase in the number of arms licences has also set alarm bells ringing in the police and security administration quarters. Only on Tuesday a meeting, presided over by Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, to review the law and order situation in the province, was informed that more than 400,000 arms licences had been issued by the present Sindh government led by the Pakistan People’s Party, and illegal weapons had flooded the province, particularly in its Tando Allahyar town, which has earned the sobriquet of the Bara (illegal market) of arms trade.
“Highlighting the urgent need for amendments to certain laws, including the arms act, to make them effective for an early disposal of cases, the chief minister has set up a committee comprising the provincial home secretary, advocate general, prosecutor general and law secretary to consult with the federal law minister and suggest necessary amendments to the laws at the earliest for presenting them before the Sindh Assembly for approval,” said the source.
“The committee would take up the Sindh police suggestions, and incorporation of a few clauses in line with their proposal is highly likely.
The mechanism would be then decided in consultation with the arms dealers.”