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When the Guns Fall Silent

When the Guns Fall Silent

Unfinished double-barrel guns lie inside the Zaroo gun factory established in 1940 at Bandook Khar Mohalla, once a hub for several gun factories in Srinagar. Kashmir’s once flourishing gun factories are now in their death throes—only two are left—after a ban on civilian licences since the early 1990s when militancy erupted in the state. The two remaining gun factories are allowed to manufacture 300 to 400 guns a year—for sale outside the state. From procuring permits to getting the guns tested in an ordinance factory to finding dealers and hiring labourers from outside the state, it is a losing struggle. The gun-makers say they want to pass on the trade to the next generation, but fear government reproach may force them to shut shop and look for other means of livelihood

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