Monday, 8 August, 2022
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Unabated sale of illegal arms alarming

Unabated sale of illegal arms alarming

It is very alarming that some licensed arms shops allegedly continue selling illegal firearms in the capital and other cities of the country, encouraging criminals to commit horrendous crimes. The issue of buying illegal arms from licensed shops once again came to the fore after Imran Hossain Zitu was arrested over the murder of Jahidul Islam Tipu, a leader of the ruling Awami League. During interrogation, Zitu confessed that the firearm, which was used to kill Tipu, was brought from an authorised arms shop. This is not an isolated case; rather authorised shops selling illegal firearms became headline on several occasions.

In recent years, the country has seen a disturbing rise in the use of illegal firearms for which availability of illegal firearms has to be blamed most. Earlier, arms were smuggled ahead of national parliamentary elections with the intention to manipulate polls by using muscle power. But, the scenario has changed to a great extent now as illegal firearms are sold around the year and firearms are being used in all kinds of scenarios – from trivial arguments to militant attacks. Whenever news comes about clashes between people, members of rival groups are seen attacking each other using firearms. While possessing illegal firearms was once considered to be socially disgraceful, people nowadays have seemingly taken it as a symbol of power and influence. So desire has grown among the people to possess illegal arms, even if they own legal ones. As a result, the market is created (actually expanding) for illegal firearms, particularly for small arms that are easy to hide or carry.

The supply of illegal firearms poses a security threat to every individual as well as the nation, and such a crime has surfaced under the very nose of law enforcement agencies and district administrations. Lawlessness inside the country and inadequate monitoring and surveillance at the border areas are the reasons for such an aggravated situation. Therefore, to curb this threat, it is essential to take strict measures in border areas along with regular monitoring of the authorised shops. There is no scope to let arms smuggling go unabated.