With the arrest of a 38-year-old man, the Delhi Police has busted a module involved in selling illegal firearms through Facebook and other social media platforms, officials said on Sunday.
The arrested accused was identified as Hitesh Rajput, a resident of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, they added.
While monitoring social media platforms, it came to the notice of the police that certain Facebook pages were offering to sell illegal arms. Photographs and videos of weapons and ammunition were also shared on these pages, a senior police officer said.
The most prominent among the groups selling illegal arms in this manner was the Lawrence Bishnoi group. Since the matter was of utmost importance after the killing of gangster Jitender Gogi in a shootout in the Rohini Court, a case under appropriate sections of law was registered, the officer said.
During investigation, Facebook profiles related to Lawrence Bishnoi were searched and it was found that Rajput was also offering illegal firearms for sale on social media from a separate profile, police said.
Through technical surveillance, the active profiles of Rajput were identified. Posing as buyers, police finalised a deal with him over Facebook and communication was made on WhatsApp. The accused shared videos of weapons and the advance money was deposited in a bank account as asked by him, police said.
Rajput was arrested from Haryana's Manesar on Tuesday when he came to receive the remaining amount and his mobile phone was forensically examined, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations) KPS Malhotra said.
Rajput had connections with anti-national elements and in Pakistan too. He was a habitual offender and was lodged in various jails of Rajasthan.
During interrogation, Rajput told the police that he joined the crime world in 2010. In jail, he met dacoit Dhan Singh Peeproli who became his mentor. In 2013, when Rajput was released from the Jodhpur jail on bail, Peeproli gave him the task of killing one Shaitan Singh Tekra, the DCP said.
Rajput planned the killing and fired at Tekra, but he escaped unhurt. Tekra was dominating the business of running private buses in entire Rajasthan and the small players had contacted Peeproli to get him killed, police said.
Rajput was previously involved in more than 11 criminal cases, they added.