The recent kidnap bid by a nine-member gang in the city reveals how educated persons are turning to criminal activities by using fire arms

Even as police claim that steps are being taken to check crime in the city, ‘gun culture’ is gradually on the rise, thanks to the deteriorating law and order situation. Poor monitoring of settlement gangs’ activities and inter-State criminal gangs and students addicted to unhealthy habits are some reasons for the emerging gun culture.

The recent kidnap bid by a nine-member gang in the city reveals how educated persons are turning to criminal activities by using fire arms. Four qualified persons (a B. Tech, M.Com, B. Com and a B.Ed) a were among the gang members who conspired to abduct a jeweller and extort Rs. 1 crore by threatening with a pistol and knives.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) M. Ravi Prakash said the kidnap gang used an air pistol, which did not need a licence. “But, using toy pistols is also a crime. Police are trying to keep a vigil on weapon suppliers,” he said. In March this year, police arrested a priest who was in illegal possession of a country-made gun at Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS). The issue came to light when the gun went off accidentally, creating panic among commuters.

But, the most sensational murder involving the use of a gun in Vijayawada was the assassination of SitiCable managing director Potluri Ramakrishna, who was waylaid and killed by his business rivals on Ratnamba Street near Executive Club on September 20, 1998.

A year later, one Katamraju Lakshminarayana alias Panthulu, was gunned down at One Town by assassins allegedly hired by the owner of a beauty clinic near Benz Circle.

The failed attempt to gun down TDP leader businessman Katragadda Nagamalleswara Rao (Babu) by former Congressman Vangaveeti Santan also shook the city in 2006.

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