Transit Route for Weapons
It is most unfortute that Assam should have become the transit route for deadly weapons manufactured in Chi that are finding their way to Delhi. The latest state-of-the-art weapons made in Chi are now easily available in Dimapur. And despite all explicit instructions of the Home Ministry to make security far more rigid in the border areas, no one seems to have maged to prevent the abnormal growth of the market for clandestine weapons that Dimapur has become. According to data published by an intertiol organization known as Gun Policy, during the last decade alone the quantum of clandestine arms exported by Chi, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos through India’s Northeast to different parts of the country exceed 100,000. According to reports, deadly weapons worth several hundred crores of rupees pass through the Northeast. There are also reports of the growth of factories manufacturing weapons not only in lower Assam, but in central Assam as well. During the last three years, 1,274 clandestine weapons and 19,884 bullets have been confiscated by the police in Assam alone. The fact that the police and the Army had smashed an illegal arms factory in Dimapur and arrested several persons connected with it seems to have made no difference to the growing importance of Dimapur as a major market for weapons. One can apparently pick up an AK-47 rifle for Rs 1.5 lakh and a Chinese made AK-56 rifle for just Rs 2 lakh. Chinese 9 mm pistols sell for anything between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000. There must be something terribly wrong with a town that becomes the selling point of all clandestine weapons and a State that becomes the transit route for such weapons to reach the tiol capital. There are occasions when reasons why such things happen are far more important than what actually happens. This is one of them. The implications for a State with more than one terrorist organization should be only too apparent.