Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: In an effort to check the unbridled proliferation of arms in the hands of criminals and gangsters, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday directed the police to review the arms and ammunition licences issued in the state.
Chairing a security review meeting, the Chief Minister expressed grave concern at the threat posed to internal security as a result of the arms proliferation, which has led to several incidents of violation of law and order in Punjab in recent past.
The meeting was attended by Principal Chief Secretary Suresh Kumar, DGP Suresh Arora and ADGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta.
While ordering a comprehensive review of the licences issued by District Magistrates and Police Commissionerates, the Chief Minister also directed a propriety audit of the arms licences issued after the notification of the Arms Rules, 2016, w.e.f 15th July 2016 till date. Antecedent verification of the licences, where needed, would also be done, as per the Chief Minister’s directions, a government spokesperson said.
The move, aimed at ensuring strict compliance under the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 and the Arms Rules, 2016, will help control the lawlessness prevailing in the state as a result of the armed gangs who had a free run under the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime, said the spokesperson. The DGP has been on record to state that 57 criminal gangs are active in the state, and several incidents of gang wars, jail breaks and killings have been reported in recent months, causing serious concern to the Captain Amarinder government, he added.
The Chief Minister further instructed the police to lay down a comprehensive policy for disposal and destruction of confiscated, captured, seized, recovered or surrendered arms and ammunition within the state. The police have also been directed to lay down guidelines for conduct of audit and inspection of the authorized arms and ammunition dealers and define Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for record maintenance.
Guidelines will also be framed to define the procedures to check the high inventories of stock and weapons deposited under safe custody to ensure that they are commensurate with the safe custody and security requirements of such dealers, as per the Chief Minister’s directives. Captain Amarinder has also asked the police department to prepare lists of arms and ammunition deposited in the Police Stations under safe custody and as case property, and to suggest ways and means for their disposal and transfer to the central malkhana to prevent their probable misuse.
The Chief Minister further asked the police to lay down guidelines for sale and consumption of ammunition for licensed weapons with the objective to check their circulation to unscrupulous and subversive elements.
In order to ensure that these measures are implemented stringently and with due accord to the requirements of the law, the police have been asked to conduct state-wide workshops/ seminars of the licensing authorities and district police chiefs to apprise them of the technical aspects of the provisions of the relevant legislations in this regard, said the spokesperson.