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The Delhi Police started an Anti-Gun Violence Campaign last year,aimed particularly at sensitising school managements and teenagers about the ill effects of gun violence.
This step was taken in response to incidents like the December 2007 shooting at the Euro International School in Gurgaon,where two 14-year-old schoolboys shot a classmate who was bullying them; and the April 2008 shooting at a government school in Ashok Vihar,where a father shot at a boy to settle his sons score.
All schools are attending regular meetings with senior officers in this regard. The Euro International shooting jolted students and schools alike. It was also a concern for law enforcement agencies,as a lot of people have arms licences,and if students somehow carry these weapons to schools,that would be very dangerous. So,this campaign to curb gun violence was undertaken last year, a senior police officer said.
To spread awareness among youngsters in schools,the Delhi Police have sent guidelines to 550 schools. Meetings and discussions have also been held with 150 school principals. The police have made a 20-minute film on teenage violence and about 500 copies have been circulated in various schools. The Delhi Police also organised a special slogan and logo writing contest for this campaign,and received some 300 entries from school children.
Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal undertook this campaign particularly at the behest of a court order by the Principal Magistrate (Juvenile Justice Board). The police said the two main objectives of this campaign were to educate existing as well as new licencees about the use of guns; and to create awareness among the youth and adults.
Sometimes,students may bring guns not safely kept by parents to school. We have sent advisories to schools and have asked them to be more vigilant and educate students about no-use of weapons, an officer said.
The police also sent letters and copies of the court judgement to licensees. Parents need to be educated first. Thankfully,no big incident has occurred in Delhi for many years now but we dont want to take any chances. Our officers also interact with students in schools,where they are shown various anti-violence films, the officer said.
The police have also put in place new procedures for issuing arms licences in the city,due to which the number of arms licences in 2008 came down to 477 from 750 in 2007,around 30 per cent less,and was the lowest in five years. Only people citing genuine reasons are being issued licenses, the officer said.