15,494 arms deposited against total 19,433 licence holders
After imposition of model code of conduct in view of Lok Sabha elections which have already started in certain states and in Punjab on April 30, there are 19433 licence arm holders in the district. Out of which 15,494, say 79 per cent have been deposited so far.
With the announcement of general elections for Lok Sabha, the police department had issued instructions to deposit the arms during the election period with the concerned police station or with the authorized local dealer under safe custody. Despite this appeal, 15494, say 79 per cent of the total 19,433 licenced arms, have been deposited.
The arms deposit drive, which has been launched as a precautionary measure to prevent untoward incidents during or after the completion of the poll process and issues like political rivalry, has exempted from depositing arms as they are being used for security purposes by private and public sector banks.
As per the sources, no exemption has so far been granted and the last date for depositing of arms was March, 25.
According to Lakhbir Siongh, SP(H), the reason behind slow and non-depositing of arms is that some people want to retain it with them because of personal enmity with certain people.
However, ECI vids its latest instructions dated March 21, 2014, have reiterated that such standing instructions of the Commission are applicable in every General Election to Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly and the members of the National Rifle Association at different levels to be exempted from the restrictions imposed are covered under these instructions. But the District Rifle Shooting Association (DRSA) Ferozepur which is affiliated with NRI through Punjab Rifle Shooting Association (PRSA) has not been granted exemption.
He further said a committee has been constituted who will receive the individual request for proper scrutiny to grant formal permission to retain the same otherwise he will have to deposit instantly.
He further said, certain arms licensees holders in the army have since been transfers and certain people have shifted from the given addresses. But so far 15494 arms have been deposited but action will be initiated against the person keeping his licensed arms without formal permission.