A total of 51 such cases under the Arms Act have been registered at IGI Airport Unit during the current year so far in which passengers have been detected carrying ammunition inadvertently or knowingly during security screening at the airport.
"As per the legal provisions, an FIR is registered against such passengers for the possession of ammunition illegally without a valid licence issued for Delhi or across India and he or she has to face criminal proceedings before a court of law. Further, such lapses affect the journey of the passengers badly since they cannot embark on their journey and the co-passengers and family members also face an awkward situation," said DCP, IGI Airport, Rajeev Ranjan.
The latest is the case of a 41-year-old Surat-based passenger who was apprehended at the IGI Airport with five live and 2 empty cartridges.
The passenger was travelling to Ahmedabad and works as a labour contractor. On questioning he produced his arms licence and asserted that the ammunition recovered from his hand baggage actually belongs to his licenced weapon and he was not conscious about the presence of rounds in his bag.
He also produced his licence, but the licence was valid for Gujarat state only. Hence, a case under section 25 Arms Act was registered at IGI Airport.
Earlier in February this year, an Italy-bound passenger was apprehended by CISF personnel at the Delhi airport for allegedly carrying four live bullets in his baggage.
Last year in November, a Bangkok-bound passenger was apprehended by the CISF at the Delhi airport for allegedly carrying a live bullet in his baggage. The traveller was not allowed to board the flight and was handed over to the Delhi Police as he could not produce any document for possessing the ammunition.
In October last year, a US-bound passenger was apprehended by CISF personnel at the Delhi airport for allegedly carrying eight live bullets in his baggage. The traveller was also not allowed to board the flight and was handed over to the Delhi Police.
"It is pertinent to mention here that an appeal to the general public titled 'Carrying Ammunition at Airport is a Non-Bailable Offence' has already been circulated in public domain through various social media platforms of Delhi Police like Twitter, Facebook and Delhi Police website. Despite issuing such appeals to the public, cases of detection of ammunition and cartridges in the baggage of the passengers are still being reported at the airport, which is a matter of concern," the officer added.
Hence, the Delhi Police has also advised all travellers to check all their belongings related to ammunition before reaching the airport for a hassle-free journey.
(Zafar Abbas can be reached at email@example.com)