GOA: When matka king Guru Poojari was shot dead by hired gunmen at Khareband, Margao, on November 23, 1999, it was Goa’s earliest epiphany about arms and the underworld. Nine months later, on August 18, 2000, Poojari’s close friend and an eyewitness to his murder, Mohammed Pandiyal, was gunned down. A year after Pandiyal’s killing, Goa police arrested a history-sheeter and claimed to have recovered country-made guns, hi-tech pen pistols, a telescopic gun, revolvers and a rifle.
“The dealers, most of the times, do not even know who their clients are. Everything lies with the middlemen, and they are the ones who bear the loss or face the consequences in case of a botched-up transaction,” a police officer said.
Sources said deals can easily be struck with any neighbourhood labour-class migrant hailing from places like northeastern states, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal, who will be ever too willing to procure a gun from their native states—and make a quick buck.
“If the middleman is able to sense your urgency, he will sell you the katta he bought for Rs 10,000 for upwards of Rs 1 lakh. But if you have some knowledge of arms, you can bargain hard and get it for Rs 10,000 too,” said a senior police officer.
The News24 Goa