The enterprising police chief of one of India’s most crime-ridden states has come up with a new idea intended to free up storage space and create thousands of tools for the working population. Abhyamand, police chief of Bihar in northern India, has spearheaded an initiative to melt down more than 60,000 guns seized from criminals, currently gathering dust in hundreds of malkhanas, or police station storage units. Their metal is already being used for farming tools. “Can we keep the dead bodies of criminals for long? Only the post-mortem is preserved. The same should apply with unwanted weapons,” said the police chief, recently sharing his logic with the BBC.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Bihar had more than 3,000 violent killings last year. To combat this, Abhyamand has introduced fast-track trials and enabled police to seize unclaimed private property in Bihar. For his latest initiative—which he refers to as the “cannibalization of Bihar’s weapons”—Abhyamand took advantage of a provision in the Bihar Police Manual that allows him to destroy any “unserviceable or unusable” weapons. “The weapons in police station malkhanas are of no use,” he recently told the BBC. “They stink like dead bodies.”