Punjab Police to use AK-47s seized from militants

Police getting assault rifles in working condition: DGP

While most of the weapons are defective, it was found that of the 1,498 rifles seized 680 were serviceable. (Representational image)

The Punjab Police plans to arm its personnel with assault rifles seized from militants more than two decades ago. As many as 1,498 Russian- made Kalashnikov rifles AK-47 and AK-56 recovered from militants are lying at the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur.

While most of the weapons are defective, a team from Rifle Factory Ishapore, Kolkata, that inspected the weapons last month, found that of the 1,498 rifles, 680 were serviceable. These serviceable weapons would require some rectification, involving replacing components, phosphating, lapping, painting and firing.

Arms placed as ‘case property weapons’ at the Academy’s Firearm Bureau are usually auctioned. “But AK-47 and AK-56 cannot be sold to public and hence their auction cannot be held. So a decision may have been taken to get those repaired and put them to use,” said a senior Punjab Police official.

The inspection team found that 555 of the unserviceable weapons could be used for drill practice, while 263 rifles were categorised as damaged, whose components could be used.

Director General of Police Suresh Arora confirmed that police were in process of putting the assault rifles in working condition. “Some 500 or so of those are repairable,” he said.

The DGP added that police were also in the process of purchasing about 3,300 new AK-47 rifles, and an order for that had been placed through the Central Reserve Police Force.

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