GUWAHATI, April 30 � The prices of sophisticated weapons in the clandestine arms markets increased sharply and security agencies are of the view that shortage of weapons can be one of the major reasons for the same. Moreover, a large number of seizures of weapons by police and security forces in the North East, particularly Assam, in the last couple of years may also have contributed to the sudden rise in prices of weapons.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that nearly 2,000 weapons and more than 18,000 rounds of ammunition were recovered by the police and security forces in Assam in the last two years and four months alone, which seriously affected the activities of the militant groups.
According to records available, 444 weapons and 9373 rounds of ammunition were recovered in 2012, 407 weapons and 7232 rounds of ammunition were recovered in 2013 and 137 weapons and 1832 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the militants upto April 28 this year. Most of the weapons were seized when those were being brought to the State.
Sources revealed that the prices of weapons in the clandestine weapons markets in the South East Asian countries increased sharply in recent times, and according to information available with the security agencies, the prices of AK series rifles have increased to more than Rs 5 lakh, while an M 33 rifle now costs around Rs 15 lakh. The price of each bullet of AK series rifle is around Rs 500, sources added.
Security sources said that most of the weapons used by the militant groups of the North East are brought from the clandestine markets in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Interestingly, a large number of weapons coming to this part of the country illegally, are manufactured in China. In recent times, the militants are bringing in AK 81 rifles, which are manufactured in China.
At one point of time, the militant groups used to bring in weapons through Bangladesh, but the situation has now changed and most of the weapons are being brought through three major routes in Myanmar. Moreover, Dimapur remains a hub of transhipment of weapons and in most cases, the handover of weapons seized by the police and security forces in Assam took place in that town.