Mumbai

Two held for making rifles using YouTube videos

Crime Branch officers display the 10 rifles and raw material seized from the men, in Navi Mumbai on Friday

Crime Branch officers display the 10 rifles and raw material seized from the men, in Navi Mumbai on Friday   | Photo Credit: Yogesh Mhatre

10 weapons, which they planned to sell, seized; material to make eight more found at accused’s house

The Navi Mumbai Crime Branch has arrested an electrician and a carpenter who allegedly made rifles with the help of YouTube videos and sold them.

The Central Unit of the Crime Branch, on receiving a tip-off, laid a trap on Tuesday near Sai Krupa Hotel on the old Mumbai-Pune highway. The officials nabbed Parshuram Raghav Pirkad (40) and Dattaram Govind Pandit (55), who were travelling on a bike with 10 rifles wrapped in plastic.

“The accused had come to sell the rifles. While Pirkad is from Nanivali village in Khalapur, Pandit hails from Kharvandi village in Karjat,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Pravinkumar Patil said.

Mr. Pandit, after completing Class X, had done an electrician’s course and started working as an electrician in Panvel, Khopoli and Karjat. He would also illegally repair licensed arms in these areas. Mr. Pirkad worked as a carpenter and had met Mr. Pandit in the course of work.

“The two have been making rifles for the last one year. They sourced steel pipes and springs, and the carpenter used his skills to make the butts for the weapons. With the help of YouTube videos, they then assembled the rifles,” senior police inspector Nivrutti Kolhatkar from Central Unit, Crime Branch, said.

During the investigations, the police found that the duo had previously sold such rifles at prices ranging from ₹15,000 to ₹30,000. The accused have revealed the names of two of these buyers.

“We are investigating who purchased the rifles and what they did with them,” Mr. Patil said. The seized rifles are similar to 12-bore double barrel rifles and have a similar mechanism. On searching the accused’s house, the police recovered raw material for making eight more rifles. In all, material worth ₹8 lakh was recovered from the accused.

“An original, licensed rifle costs between ₹50,000 and ₹1.5 lakh,” Mr. Patil said.

The accused have been remanded in police custody till February 24.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 5:14:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/two-held-for-making-rifles-using-youtube-videos/article30884807.ece

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