There is now a ban on songs promoting gun culture and violence, a prohibition against flaunting weapons and an order to review all existing arms licences in Punjab. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab made this decision and issued an official order through the home department today to the director general of police, police commissioners, deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police.
The Punjab government’s clampdown on gun ‘culture’ following directions from the chief minister includes tightening procedures for issuing fresh arms licences and random checking to curb illegal possession of guns.
The Mann government has been under fire from the opposition — the INC, SAD and BJP — for the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab that has been staring at a deteriorating law-and-order situation, thanks to 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.
Punjab government orders
- The home department of the Punjab government has instructed law enforcers to take action against makers and sellers of songs that glorify guns and violence.
- There should be a complete ban on carrying and displaying weapons at public events, social gatherings, wedding ceremonies and religious places, the order said.
- There should be a complete ban on the flaunting of weapons including on social media, it said.
- The department has further ordered a thorough review of all arm licences within the next three months with clear directions that if any arm licence is found to be issued to any wrong person, it should be revoked immediately. No new arms licence will be issued unless the district magistrate (deputy commissioner) is satisfied with the grounds for the same, said the government order.
- The government order reiterated the directions for the registration of a police case against those who indulge in hate speech against any community.
Punjab, hit by Sikh terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s, has approximately four lakh arms licence holders, including those of prohibited bore and non-prohibited bore, and most of these were issued during the militancy period, according to official sources.
On 12 May, Punjab Chief Minister Mann had condemned the trend of gun culture and gangsterism being promoted by some singers, warning that those found involved would be dealt with sternly.