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.

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.

“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.