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India: Beware, the world knows about your weapon

India Times | MAY 17, 2005

CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh is divided at a gunpoint and the debate is between transparency and caution. After all, Chandigarh administrations has made arrangements, whereby, now the whole world would be able to know that you own a weapon. The complete record of about 20,000 arms licenses with the UT administration would now be available online on www.sampada.in. Disclosing this, deputy commissioner Arun Kumar informed that the details would include name of the licensee, the type of weapon and its details such as bore, make, manufacturer, validity, etc.

The website would also have information on how to procure an arms license and its periodic renewal. The DC further revealed that this would help the police as well as citizens in detecting unlicensed arms.

However, people, especially the ones who own such weapons, are of the opinion that the administration has completely missed the target. ‘’It would give an open invitation to thieves and robbers to steal the weapon,’’ said Arvind Jain, a jeweler and president, Market Welfare Association, Sector 22.

Rakesh Talwar, another jeweller, said, ‘’I don’t think such information should be made public. People keep weapons due to certain reasons, may be, a threat from someone. By displaying it on a website the very purpose of keeping a weapon is defeated.’’ Some persons were of the view that there shouldn’t be much of a problem in displaying such information on the website. “I own a pistol and a .12 bore gun, and that’s the reason a thief would keep away from my house,’’ said, Brig Sant Singh (retd). Major General AS Kahlon (retd), too was of the same opinion.

When contacted, DC Arun Kumar said, “The information validates your right to information.’’ About theft and robbery, he said he did not think it was an issue at least in Chandigarh.

The DC further added that out of the 20,000 arms licenses issued by the UT administration, 13,000 were issued from 1966 to 2000 and 850 licenses were issued during the last four years. 5,000 recorded licenses were issued by other states but were renewed in Chandigarh.

There are about 610 prohibited arms licenses registered/renewed by the Chandigarh administration.

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