With increasing incidents of firing during wedding functions resulting in several deaths in the past few years, the Punjab home affairs and justice department has issued a letter to all District Magistrates (DMs), police commissioners and senior superintendents of police, instructing them to pass a prohibitory order on carrying arms in public places, especially marriage venues.
A letter, dated March 22, mentioned that the orders issued under Section 144 of CrPC by the DMs, prohibiting arms in the public places, should be strictly enforced and adhered to by the police department and that CCTV cameras should be installed at all strategic points in every wedding venue to act as a deterrent for any lawbreaker. It will be also helpful in tracing any “mischievous element”.
The letter further directed that that marriage halls can have only indoor music/ DJs.
While issuing the new arms licence or renewing the existing ones, an affidavit must be taken from the applicant that he/she will abide by the restrictions on carrying the weapon and shall not carry it during wedding or other celebratory functions, read the letter.
The owner/managers of the wedding venues/event management companies should also be made responsible for reporting such events to the police. In case they do not do so, they should also be held accountable for any mishap. For ensuring proper security at the public places with huge footfall like wedding venues, the owners/managers may be instructed to install, security equipment like metal detector and door frame so that people carrying arms and ammunition can be detected and stopped at the entry gate, added the letter.
Last month, a 22-year-old girl was killed in a wedding function. There were several deaths reported in the past couple of years in Punjab during celebratory firing.