The Times of India
New Delhi

JAIPUR: The .32 bore revolver seems to be the favourite among MPs from Rajasthan. Out of the six MPs who have purchased a gun from the government between 2001 and 2012, at least three MPs have bought a .32 bore revolver while two procured a .32 bore pistol and yet one more a .99 pistol.

The disclosure were made in reply to an application filed under RTI Act by activist Ambarish Pandey. The data from the government was then analyzed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW). The analysis shows that between 2001 and 2012, 82 MPs, including six from Rajasthan, have purchased guns from the government.

Nearly 18 of these 82 MPs to whom the guns were sold have criminal cases pending against them, including charges of murder, attempt to murder, kidnap etc., at the time of sale. But in the case of Rajasthan, none of these MPs who own guns have any criminal cases against them.

These are guns seized by the customs department and then sold to MPs and VIPs on a first-come-first-serve basis. Earlier, these guns were sold well below market price but recently prices have been hiked to include tariff. According to rules governing sale of such guns, only MPs can purchase them. Some of these guns are classified as prohibited guns and need special permission from the finance minister to be given to anyone including MPs.

The list summarizing prominent MPs and persons who have purchased guns also include governor Margaret Alva and BJP state president Vasundhara Raje.

The latest entrant to the club is Lal Chand Kataria, MP, Jaipur rural, who purchased an Erma Wenke pistol of .32 bore during his current tenure in 2011. Also, MP from Alwar and Union minister of state for sports and youth affairs Jitendra Singh purchased one in his current tenure. Singh, a member of the royal family of Alwar, procured a Carl Walther Pistol of .32 bore in 2009.

The list also includes BJP's Jaswant Singh who bought a .32 S&W revolver during his stint as MP from Jodhpur in 2006, BJP's Srichand Kriplani with a .32 bore revolver, Congress' Tarachand Bhagora also with a .32 bore revolver and BJP's Manvendra Singh with a Walther P.99 pistol.

The data also reveal that a total of 756 guns were sold to MPs and VIPs between 1987 and 2012 and that a total of 675 guns were sold between 1987 and 2001, 39 between 2001 and 2004, and 42 between 2005 and 2012. Between 2001 and 2012, 82 MPs purchased guns from the government. Eighteen of these 82 MPs who were sold guns have pending criminal cases against them, including charges of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping etc., at the time of sale.

Among the 82 MPs who have been allotted guns from the government, Atiq Ahmed from Uttar Pradesh has 44 criminal cases including charges of murder, attempt to murder etc. followed by Abu Asim Azmi from Maharashtra and Rakesh Sachan from Uttar Pradesh with seven cases each, the analysis of the data by the ADR says.

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