Illegal weapons major security challenge in Province 1: Police

- PROVINCE 1 BUREAU, BIRATNAGAR

Jan 29, 2019-

Devi Prasad Limbu of Phaktalung Rural Municipality-4 in Taplejung died of shrapnel injuries on January 15 when his musket went off accidentally after he stumbled while on a hunting expedition with his friend. On January 8, a hunter shot dead a 62-year-old man mistaking him for a game animal in a forest at Rong Rural Municipality-2 in Ilam. 

In both these cases, the people involved had tried to keep police in the dark because the weapons used in the incidents were illegal.    

Authorities believe that many people still possess illegal and unregistered firearms in Province 1, which has posed a serious security challenge to police. Use of illegal weapons have been found in various crimes that occur in several districts of the province every year. 

According to the information available at the Provincial Police Office, a number of murder cases have been reported in several districts of the province over the years where illegal and unregistered weapons were used. 

Deputy Superintendent of Police of Taplejung Sanjaya Singh Thapa said that police could control the possession and use of such illegal weapons with the support of political parties, civil society and people. 

According to him, police have tough time identifying and seizing unregistered weapons as some communities have been using muskets as part of their cultural rituals. 

Lawmakers, political parties and civil society should help police in seizing illegal weapons, he said. 

Unregistered muskets, especially in hill districts, and smuggling of small firearms in the Tarai districts are the major security threat in the province. 

Deaths and injuries caused by illegal weapons are often reported in Taplejung, Ilam, Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum, Morang and Sunsari districts of the province. Deputy Inspector General of Nepal Police Kedar Rijal at the Provincial Police Office said that police did not have accurate figure on illegal weapons. 

He, however, claimed that police has initiated security operation to seize illegal weapons. As per the record available with the police,  security personnel seized 32 illegal weapons from several districts of Province 1 since the beginning of the current fiscal year on July 17, 2018. 

Forty-two people were arrested for illegal possession of weapons. In the last fiscal year, police had seized 36 illegal weapons from 13 districts of Province 1. Thirty-five weapons were seized in the previous fiscal year.   

SP Manoj KC of Morang admitted that the illegal weapon is a major security threat in the provincial capital.

He added that police were launching regular security checks at border points and other suspicious places to check smuggling of firearms.

(With inputs from our local corresponds) 

Published: 29-01-2019 08:19

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