Law And Increasing Gun Culture In Punjab
AUTHORED BY-Pratibha Thakur, Saksham Sharma
3rd Semester BALLB ,GNDU Amritsar ,Punjab, India
Abstract – Gun culture in Punjab is just increasing constantly.
The Arms Act ,1959 was made to Create a cheque Upon the arms which had been occupied by the people in lieu of military or police. The validation of Arms Act ,1959 has just now remained on papers or documents, not applicable in reality. The far reaching reasons due to which due to which the gun culture in Punjab is increasing are political pressures , corruption etc. Which puts questions on the ministry and laws of India. A fledgling gun culture in Punjab , aided by changes in the police administration that had made officers to full time politicians, has led to meaningless violence breaking out every where. The mains question which had been raised as this gun culture in rapidly increasing , that where was origin from which the gun culture started flourishing. How this far going gun culture is effecting the society and the nation .
Therefore the current research paper seeks to analysis various impacts due to the operation of these Arms. It further suggests the importance to make strict law against the promoting gun.
Gun culture with which the meaningless violence has been created ,to come to peace as what it doesn’t exist at present.
Keywords – Gun Culture , Firearms , Licence , People, Punjab , Law.
In India ,
Guns and firearms are generally given to the military forces as well as to the police forces for the defense of the nation . As a common person , one can only possess a gun or firearm when he gets an approved licence . The information regarding the license has been given in Arms Act,1959 in section (3)-:
“No person shall acquire, have in his possession, or carry any firearm or ammunition unless he holds in this behalf a licence issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder .”
The licence were issued so that there is no easy excess to the firearms to the citizens of country .
But the number of licenced guns has been increased too much from last few years . Which is somehow creating a threat to the society . There are more than 4 lakh licenced guns in Punjab. According to law the firearms among the citizens in a state should not exceed 1.5* of its police force , but in the case of Punjab there are more than 15* firearms among the citizens then it’s police force. The main reason behind this is that people in Punjab are holding 3 firearms over only one approved licence . Furthermore there are severely illegal firearms possessed by people in Punjab. According to NCRB report more then 830 firearms which were possessed by people without approved licence were seized in 2020 from Punjab and still there are so many illegal firearms possessed by people of Punjab which are not seized .
These firearms are still revolving among the hands of people in Punjab.
Foundation of Gun Culture in Punjab-:
During the era of Indira Gandhi assassination nearly around 1980’s , the wave of terrorism was at peak . There was fear across whole state. To overcome this situation Punjab government started giving licence to people . The licence for possession of firearms were given on the grounds of their protection.
When the disarray reduced, the possession of gun just became a status symbol for the people of Punjab and they started keeping guns and firearms for status rather than for protection purpose.
According to the reports of Sucha Singh the SSP (Senior superintendent of police) who used to elect SHO’S (Station House Officer) of police stations.
Government launched Halqa System. According to this system , the MLA’s and Non elected MLA’s will have the authority to choose the officers (SHO’s)
Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP
Fig .1.0(Halqa system by government)
The purpose of establishment of this system was to provide opportunities and benefits to the minor groups too , as no one rather than MLA have the better knowledge of the Area .He can exactly understand the requirements and needs of Area . But the outcome seemed to be different , the outcome became one of the major reasons of excessive licencing in Punjab.
The Authority was in hands of political parties to elect officer’s & hence , they used it for creating pressure on the officers. It became a very easy way for people to get a firearm licence by blackmailing or bribing the officers with the political support . These guns and firearms became a way for the people who wanted to get their work done beyond the provisions of law .
Reasons behind the increasing gun culture in Punjab -:
Threatening – Nowadays , Guns had became a proper medium for threatening someone. In every gang rivalry, property dispute or even for common fights , Guns are being used in large number.
Status symbol- Possession of Gun , Nowadays has became fashion for the people in Punjab. They use to possess guns with themselves only the purpose of getting an impactful reputation among the people of the society.
Punjabi songs -Nowadays most of the Punjabi songs promote Gun Culture. The Punjabi songs are now all about guns, killing , drugs , weapons , murders , smuggling which influence the youth to get involve in all these activities. A mindset had been created in the youth by these songs that possessing firearms , consuming drugs is a very copacetic thing to do and doing these kind of stuff makes their reputation in the society.
Illegal weapon- Well presently there are large number of licenced guns in Punjab which are properly recorded in state still a large number of people with the possession of illegal weapons are revolving all around the society of which there is no recorded data and cannot be traced either . As per NCRB report , licenced guns in Punjab account for only 14% of the 3,655 gun related deaths other 86% murders were committed with illegal weapons.
Halqa system- At the era of Halqa system when MLA’s got the authority to elect the SHO’s , several licences were provided to the people who have any political support or if have any political background , resulted in speedy increase in the number of guns or firearms in Punjab.
Impacts of gun culture in Punjab -:
As availability of guns in nowadays has became very easy , Guns and firearms in Punjab are now supplied in very enormous amount. Several cases daily happen in Punjab in which people are shot dead by the guns and firearms . People don’t hesitate to kill someone with their guns .
In recent cases , near Khalsa College Amritsar the victim was shot dead in a fight between two groups. Then famous Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala was shot dead by sharp shooters in his car.
Number of these kind of incidents happen in Punjab on daily basis .
Fig2.0( Sidhu Moose Wala shot dead). Fig3.0(Victim Lovepreet Singh shot dead)
Conclusion and recommendations -:
The gun culture in Punjab is increasing rapidly . Law is not being properly followed by the officials, citizens of Punjab . There are several loopholes in the administration and validation of these laws in Punjab. The increasing gun culture is the biggest threat to the people of state. There is need of improvement in the validation of laws. To check in this major issue government has to take some measures over it .
Some recommendations -:
Abolition of Halqa system –
According to sucha Singh report there must be abolition of Halqa system and after that there should be review on the licences issued at that Time .
Less licencing of firearms –
As start of gun culture in Punjab was due to the excessive licencing of guns and firearms. So to control the raising gun culture there should be less licencing.
One firearm over one approved licence –
As in Punjab people have possession of three guns over one licence . As this increase the number of guns in Punjab. So there should be only possession of one gun over one licence.
Check on Punjabi songs –
As there is huge impact of Punjabi songs and music industry on the youth . So there should be some restrictions on production of these songs that the lyrics of these song don’t influence the youth for guns , drugs and they should not promote Gun Culture.
Check on illegal weapons –
There should be strong laws against the possession of illegal weapons by people , So that people get afraid to get these illegal weapons under their possession.
Brazen gun culture -:
From - https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/brazen-gun-culture-194721
Violence, cuss words and aggression is rife in Punjabi songs as of now. So, can a governing body tame this growing culture? We find out (from www.tribuneindia.com)
Gun Culture in Punjab by Sucha Singh from -: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23391224
Don’t single out Punjab for gun violence. Data tells a different story from -: https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/dont-single-out-punjab-for-gun-violence-data-tells-a-different-story/979734/
Soch by mohak mangal from -:
Promoting gun culture in Punjab from-:
Sidhu Moosewala Murder: The Thriving Gun Culture & Gangsterism In Punjab from-: