Police have launched a special ‘search and find’ operation in the Kathmandu Valley to recover concealed weapons and to prevent any untoward incident associated with firearms.
Though the use of small arms have subsided in recent times, criminal elements and their associates could be possessing illegal weapons, officials said.
Min Krishna Maharjan, 42, and Milan Silwal, 25, were injured after a gang of motorcycle-borne assailants opened fire on them on January 18. Incidents of shooting have not been reported in the Valley since.
An official at the Metropolitan Police Crime Division attributed the ‘relatively calm’ situation and ‘no use of small arms’ in the recent months to crackdown on gangsters.
“The arrest of over 50 notorious gangsters and prosecution against them had also brought down crimes involving firearms in the Valley,” he informed, adding, that a search operation to recover the concealed weapons is under way for the last one month.
Police have been carrying out surprise checks in more than 28 suspected places daily with major focus on congested urban settlements and transit points of the Valley.
Metro police have also deployed their informers to gather intelligence about trading and smuggling of small arms. All Metropolitan Police Ranges, Circles and Sectors have been directed to put the anti-firearm operation on their top priority.
According to sources‚ a pistol fetches the racketeers up to Rs 100‚000 depending on the need of the prospective clients‚ mostly extortionists and organised criminal gangs.
The open Nepal-India border is becoming a save haven for illegal arms traders‚ who are often attracted to the capital to smuggle the weapons in hope of making fast buck.
Criminals often use the weapons to create terror in society by extorting the business community, exacting revenge on rival gangs and robbing people at gunpoint, according to police. The law enforcement agency has managed to recover 21 firearms in the Valley so far this fiscal.