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  • Police data shows that some of the 522 passengers nabbed in last 5 years while carrying live bullets in their bags claimed they had done so unknowingly

By Anvit Srivastava, New Delhi

PUBLISHED ON MAR 09, 2021 02:33 AM IST

Delhi police have written to all Indian air carriers operating from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport as well as to Delhi airport operator DIAL asking them to mention prominently on all boarding passes, air tickets and at terminal entry points that carrying ammunitions is a non-bailable offence and can land flyers in jail.

The letter by the police came in the backdrop of 522 passengers being arrested from Delhi airport in the past five years for carrying live ammunition in their bags.

Police data shows that some of the 522 passengers nabbed while carrying live bullets in their bags claimed that they had done so unknowingly. Senior officers said that since the offence was a non-bailable one, all these passengers had to be placed under arrest. While in some cases, as per a 2014 Supreme Court judgment, bail can be granted from the police station on selective grounds, the majority of passengers have to get themselves bailed out from court.

The process may usually take a day or two, they said.

Data shows that while last year due to the closure of air traffic, the number of passengers nabbed with live ammunition was limited to just 66, in 2019, a total of at least 107 passengers had been arrested for the same offence. In 2018, 135 passengers had been arrested for carrying live bullets in their bags.

This year, till February 15, at least 16 passengers had been arrested for the offence.

At present, the rear side of boarding passes do come printed with a warning that states that ammunitions were a prohibited item. In its letter to the airlines, the Delhi police have now written, “It is advised to all airlines operating at Indira Gandhi International airport to specifically mention on the front side of the tickets/boarding passes in bold letters asking passengers to ”re-check your luggage as carrying ammunition at the airport is a punishable offence and a criminal case shall be registered against the violators in which he/she can land up in jail.”

The letter further says that an SMS may also be sent to passengers regarding the same after they purchase a ticket. The police have also requested the airport operator to clearly display such warnings and advisory prominently at the terminal building’s entry points.

Deputy commissioner of police (Delhi airport) Rajeev Ranjan said in most such cases, it has been noticed that passengers ended up carrying the ammunitions inadvertently. “But because they are not carrying a valid licence, as per the law, we need to file an FIR (first information report) against them under the Arms Act and they have to face criminal proceedings in a court of law,” Ranjan said.


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