Mumbai: Police have launched an exercise to collect licenced arms in the city ahead of Maharashtra Assembly polls due on October 15, a drive which has led to 288 weapons being surrendered so far even as it cracked down on people with criminal antecedents.
As per the directives of the Election Commission, Government authorities are required to collect arms prior to election to ensure fair and peaceful polling.
Soon after the election schedule is announced, District Magistrates and Police Commissioners make a detailed review and assessment of all the weapon licence holders.
"So far 288 people have submitted their firearms. Going by the previous records, Mumbai Police, on an average, receives, about 350 firearms ahead of elections," said an officer.
The weapon licence holders, who had been released on bail, and have a history of criminal offences, especially during elections, are mandated to deposit their firearms with the police.
Under the law, if a licence holder fails to deposit arms within specified period, he shall be liable for prosecution under Section 188 of IPC. All firearms so deposited shall be returned to the licence holders one week after the declaration of results.
Meanwhile, police have arrested 13 persons and recovered as many firearms besides 29 `live' cartridges in the metropolis since September 12, the day when the poll code of conduct came into force, police said.
To thwart any move by people with criminal background to disrupt peace or poll-related activities, police have arrested or detained about 4,800 anti-social elements under relevant sections of Bombay Police Act.