Want AK-47 on Rent? Drive to Noida (Western UP)

AK47 Uttar Pradesh Noida

GHAZIABAD: Police investigation into the attempted assassination of a BJP leader has revealed that assault rifles are available for hire in .

The problem is clearly more acute in western Uttar Pradesh, a traditional belt bordering Delhi that has dusty towns like Agra, , Ghaziabad, Meerut, Roorkee, Aligarh and Muzafarnagar.

Police officers probing the attack on Bharatiya Janata Party leader Brijpal Teotia say criminal gangs in the region are also into “sub-contracted killings”.

“A rough estimate is that over a dozen gangs possess weapons like AK-47s,” one officer said.

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The modern weapons these gangs possess are easily available along Uttar Pradess’s porous border with Nepal. The weapons are smuggled from China via Nepal.

The cost of hiring an AK-47 is Rs 2 to 3 lakh. If the weapon is lost, the deposit is forfeited. If the weapon is returned, a “rent” of Rs 50,000-60,000 is deducted per weapon.

The weapons are also available for outright purchase, revealed another police source.

At times, two gangs get together to carry out a hit, police sources say. A “supari contract” — to kill a target — is occasionally sub-contracted.

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“New entrants are hired on daily wages,” a source said, explaining how the killer gangs operate.

Teotia, 54, was seriously injured when AK-47 wielding assailants fired at his vehicle off National Highway-58 last week.

Police put the number of attackers at four and said they also used 9 mm pistols. Teotia survived the attack but was injured, as were his guards. He is still in hospital.