ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Use of WMDs

Judge Pramod Dattaram Kode while convicting Sunjay Dutt in the Bombay bomb blasts case agreed with prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam’s contention that the AK-56 was a “weapon of mass destruction” (WMD). He said that “its possession was an eminently dangerous act and the offence was serious”. What is it about AK rifles that make them a WMD?

In the US WMD is defined as “any weapon or device intended or has the capability to cause death or serious bodily injury to significant number of people” (FY97 National Defence Authorisation Act, Public Law 104-201, September 23, 1996). The AK rifle is an assault weapon which fires between 600 and 700 rounds per minute and is most effective in close quarter battle. It is supposed to be simple, inexpensive to manufacture, easy to clean and maintain, and rugged. But it is not accurate. While it is very popular with rebels – as evident from weapon seizures in, for instance, Jammu and Kashmir of 27,735 AK assault rifles up to August 3, 2007 – it is popular with a number of armies too. In the 1980s, the US financed and also procured AK rifles for the Afghan Mujahideen. In 1993 a former head of Pakistan’s ISI claimed that the agency had access to three million AK rifles. The Indian army not only uses AK rifles, but a version called the AK-7 is manufactured in India.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top