Bhopal, October 17
Ahead of the Assembly bypolls in Madhya Pradesh, police in Bhind district have launched an initiative, under which bullets are being stamped with quick response (QR) codes to easily trace the shooter and to keep the use of guns in check, an official said.
Out of the 28 state Assembly seats where bypolls would be held on November 3, Bhind district has two constituencies among the 16 in the Gwalior-Chambal region.
The winding ravines of Chambal were once a den of trigger-happy dacoits like Malkhan Singh and Paan Singh Tomar, who unleashed a reign of terror in the region. Slain “Bandit Queen” Phoolan Devi had found refuge in these ravines before she became a Member of Parliament (MP).
Even now, people in the region rejoice in flaunting guns to demonstrate their power.
Talking to PTI, district superintendent of police Manoj Kumar Singh said, “Bhind has witnessed around 150 murders in the last five years with most of them being committed using illegal weapons.”
During the last Assembly elections, the district had witnessed violence and rigging attempts which were thwarted, police sources said.
“Therefore, ahead of the by-elections, police have asked more than 22,000 firearms licensees in the district to come forth and get the casings of bullets printed with QR codes,” he said.
“The initiative has started this week and stamping a QR code costs just one paisa for a round. It contains details of the gun licensee, whom police can trace almost instantly,” he added.
Replying to a query, Singh said the bullet coding exercise is being done not only in view of the upcoming bypolls when the arms are surrendered with the police, but to keep the “gun culture” in check for good.
“In the run-up to the election or during it, if someone fires a bullet stamped with QR code even from a country-made weapon, we can reach the shooter as the empty bullet case will provide all the details,” he said.
When asked whether this exercise would create any impact in Bhind, where hardened criminals acquire country weapons and bullets from different places, Singh said that his aim was to reduce gun culture prevailing in the region.
“Even if I am able to save one life, I will be happy,” the police officer said, adding that he had been working on quick response coding for the past two years.
Singh said there was a trend to register false cases in Bhind.
“If someone sustains a bullet injury, in his complaint he names innocent people, with whom he wants to settle old scores. But through QR coding, we can easily get to know the weapon from which the bullet was fired as well as its owner,” he said.
“Coding won’t leave a room for an injured person to implicate innocent people who do not have any connection with attack on him,” he added. PTI