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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
Outlook.com

The Katta Cluster

A retired jawan sets up a trade in countrymade weapons

The Katta Cluster
The Katta Cluster
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

TUCKED away in the backwaters of eastern UP's Azamgarh district, Bamhaur looks like a nondescript  village. But a mere mention of its name evokes awe and suspicion. Bamhaur's claim to fame: it specialises in countrymade pistols and guns.

At least 16 families belonging to the Lohar (blacksmith) caste in the village work round-the-clock manufacturing countrymade weapons called kattas. The process of manufacturing these weapons has been developed into a fine art by these experienced blacksmiths. They were first taught to make the weapons years ago by Jawahir Cha-cha. As an army jawan, Jawahir knew a lot about firearms. Post-retirement, he settled down in Bamhaur and decided to train the village lads in the art of katta manufacturing. Today it is a flourishing business.

As we enter the now infamous village off the Azamgarh-Luck-now highway, we find a dark, barechested old man squatted on a cot surrounded by a group of young disciples. It doesn't  take very long to convince the group that we are actually potential buyers. "Koi...

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