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Over 400 unclaimed firearms turn UP police station into 'gun museum'

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Over 400 unclaimed firearms turn UP police station into 'gun museum'

Kanpur, April 19 (Ajit Weekly News) It is not a museum for guns, but it is no less either. Over 400 licensed firearms have been lying in the ‘maalkhana’ (storeroom) of the Ghatampur police station in Kanpur for the past 20 years, as no one turned up to reclaim them.

According to police sources, many owners of the firearms who deposited their guns during elections — as is mandatory — have passed away and their family members have not turned up to claim the same.

Of the total 4,148 licensed weapons deposited at this facility before elections in previous years, 2,039 guns have been deposited ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Interestingly, the 406 unclaimed firearms here include 70 vintage muzzle-loading guns dating back to the 1857 revolt era.

“The heirs of the owners who passed away are not claiming these guns because of the tedious process of weapon transfer. Besides, frequent elections have led to the accumulation of firearms in the police station,” said Manoj Singh, a lawyer.

“This effectively makes the police station ‘an old-age home for weapons’. People believe it’s safe that the weapons are stored at the police station as they can’t be used for any wrongdoings,” said Singh, representing two persons who refused to reclaim their arms.

Their ground is that the process of depositing and reclaiming weapons is a grueling one because of the frequency of elections, he added.

As per records, 30 of the 406 unclaimed guns were deposited during the 2003 Assembly elections, 100 in the 2007-2009 elections, 200 in the 2012-2014 elections, and six during the 2017 elections.

The ‘vintage’ guns used in 1857 were deposited some 25 years ago, said SHO Sumit Kumar Singh.

“Notices have been sent to the owners, but none have responded,” said an official.

“After the Lok Sabha elections, notices will be pasted on the houses of those who deposited these guns. If they do not reclaim them, the police will be forced to initiate legal action,” said Ranjit Kumar, ACP, Ghatampur.

“Imagine the space and security the guns require. This is a task for us,” he added.

–Ajit Weekly News

amita/arm


News Credits – I A N S

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