Kathmandu, August 17
Police arrested a person with two automatic pistols and 20 rounds of live bullets from Nagdhunga of Chandragiri Municipality, yesterday.
The arrested possessing illegal arms and ammunition has been identified as Sulabh Lama aka Munal, 28, of Konjysom Rural Municipality-2, Lalitpur. Acting on a tip-off by an intelligence official, police searched a bus heading to Kathmandu from Dhading and held him with firearms and bullets.
A binocular, five mobile phone sets, a diary containing telephone numbers and other documents were also seized from Lama.
Lama has been kept in the custody of Teku-based Metropolitan Police Range for further investigation to find out his motive of carrying arms and ammunition.
The tendency of possessing illegal small arms has been on the rise with increase in smuggling of such firearms, according to Nepal Police.
Police have also warned that easy availability of small arms might pose a serious threat to public security.
The security agency arrested 326 persons with 287 firearms across the country in fiscal 2018-19 compared to 377 persons with 284 weapons in fiscal 2017-18. As many as 926 rounds of live bullets were confiscated in 2018-19 against 452 in 2017-18. Data with Nepal Police hints at growing gun culture in the country.
Spokesperson of Nepal Police Deputy Inspector General BishwarajPokharel warned that proliferation, possession and misuse of firearms could give rise to crimes, posing a serious threat to lives and property.
Of the firearms seized in 2018-19, 57 were pistols, three revolvers, 51 home-made pistols, 22 rifles and 154 muskets.
According to police, criminal gangs usually possess firearms because they threaten victims for extortion, kidnapping
and robbery, and also commit murder.
Small arms are mainly smuggled into Nepal through the southern border and possession of home-made pistols and muskets in remote areas of the country has been common for years. Despite all efforts, police have not been able to control smuggling of firearms.
A version of this article appears in print on August 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.