The Delhi Police on Friday recovered around 2,000 live cartridges and arrested six people, including two couriers and a gun-house owner, in connection with the crime. While the police say that the accused prima facie appeared to be part of a crime network, they were not ruling out a terror angle yet.
The recovery and arrests come amid a heightened security cover in the national capital ahead of August 15 when India celebrates its 75th Independence Day.
“Prime facie, the accused appear to be a part of a criminal network but a terror angle hasn’t been ruled out yet,” the police said.
“The final destination of the rounds was Lucknow and Jaunpur. Ammunition was sourced from a licensed gun-house in Dehradun. The owner of the gun-house would write fake vouchers regarding sale of ammunition to other gun-houses, but would sell at a premium to gangsters. One handler, Saddam, was arrested from Jaunpur, while the gunhouse owner Parikshit Negi has also been arrested. The couriers of ammunition were identified as Rashid and Ajmal,” police added.
The police further said that efforts are on to find the main accused and also suspected the involvement of an individual currently in prison in Meerut.
The incident comes just three days ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. Security has been beefed up across the national capital in view of the day and police have intensified patrolling and vehicle checks to ensure no safety.
Tight security arrangements have also been put in place at all sensitive places in Delhi, including Metro stations, railway stations, airports and markets. Besides, hotels, parking lots and restaurants are also being checked, and a verification drive of tenants and servants is being carried out, police said.
In an unprecedented security measure, the police have sought the cooperation of 231 regular kite-flyers from the walled city area to ensure a clear sky for about three hours that morning. The move is aimed to prevent stray kites from falling inside Red Fort during the Prime Minister’s address to the nation and the flag-hoisting ceremony.