GUWAHATI, March 28 � Only 20 per cent of the nearly 50,000 licensed arms existing in Assam have been deposited so far with the authorities in the run-up to the three-phase Lok Sabha elections in the State, reports PTI.
The State police department is now trying to contact all the owners in order to take possession of these arms as per the Election Commission directives. �As of now, we have 47,286 licensed arms in Assam. Of this, around 9,500 have been collected according to EC norms to have a free and fair election exercise in the State,� a top government official said.
In addition to these, the police have seized around 10,000 unlicensed arms, ammunition and explosives across the State, he added. �In the unlicensed category, the police recovered 84 arms, 9,910 cartridges and 13 explosives,� the official said.
According to information available with the security establishment, Nagaon district alone has 8,550 licensed arms � the highest in the State. It is followed by Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong districts with 5,808 and 4,309 arms, respectively.
Surprisingly, the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) of Chirang and Baksa have the least number of licensed arms with just 123 and 140 weapons, respectively. Along with these two, Kokrajhar and Udalguri, also part of BTAD, have active zones with Bodo insurgents and the banned terrorist group NDFB(S) is active in these districts.
Kokrajhar and Udalguri, too, have comparatively less number of registered arms with 737 and 301 weapons, respectively.
The official said 882 arms are owned by public in the State capital Guwahati.
Some of the districts that have minimum number of arms registered are Bongaigaon (238), Nalbari (326), Karimganj (478), Dhemaji (522) and Goalpara (667).
Districts that have large numbers of licensed arms are Sivasagar (3,343), Golaghat (2,816), Lakhimpur (1,933), Jorhat (1,580), Barpeta (1,561), Tinsukia (1,443), Sonitpur (1,423), Cachar (1,402), Kamrup (1,395) and Dhubri (1,282).
The official said some other districts, where police is trying to get hold of the arms, include Darrang (1,237), Dibrugarh (1,166), Morigaon (949) and Hailakandi (769).