CM Mann

Chandigarh: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab led by Chief minister Bhagwant Mann has imposed a ban on songs promoting gun culture and violence, prohibited displaying of weapons, and ordered a review of all existing arms licenses in the state.

Regarding this, an official order was issued by the home department of the state government on Sunday to the director general of police (DGP), police commissioners, deputy commissioners, and senior superintendents of police.

The clampdown on weapon culture following directions from chief minister Bhagwant Mann also incorporates tightening of procedures for issuance of fresh arms licenses and random checking to curb illegal ownership of guns.

The state government has been under fire from the Opposition– the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)– over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. Concerns over law and order have elevated after back-to-back murders of Shiv Sena (Taksali) leader Sudhir Suri in Amritsar and Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pardeep Singh in Faridkot, in one week.

According to the home department’s guidelines, songs that glorify guns and violence should be strictly restricted, and there should be a complete ban on carrying and displaying weapons at public events, social gatherings, wedding ceremonies, and religious places. There should be a complete ban on the flaunting of weapons including on social media, it said.

The department has also ordered a thorough review of all arms licenses within the next three months with clear directions that if any arm license is found to be issued to any wrong person, it should be revoked immediately. No new arms license will be issued unless the district magistrate (deputy commissioner) is satisfied with the grounds for the same, said the government order.

Punjab, hit by terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s, has approximately four lakh arms license holders, including those of prohibited bore and non-prohibited bore, and most of these were issued during the militancy period, according to official sources.

The government order also reiterated the directions for the registration of a police case against those who indulge in hate speech against any community. Mann, on May 12, condemned the trend of gun culture and gangsterism being promoted by some singers, warning that those found involved will be managed harshly.

By Archana

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