As many as 85 firearms including nine licensed weapons were seized in the last one and an half year in Tricity. A majority of weapons were seized in Chandigarh followed by Mohali and then in Panchkula. At least 39 weapons including four licensed were seized in Chandigarh, 38 including two licensed were seized in Mohali and seven including one licensed were seized in Panchkula.
A total 92 cases under the relevant sections of the Arms Act were registered in the three cities.
The statistics collected from the Tricity police authorities suggest that along with 85 weapons, 162 live cartridges were also seized. Of the total seized live cartridges, 103 live cartridges were seized in Chandigarh, 54 were seized in Mohali and 5 were seized in Panchkula.
SSP (UT) Nilambri Vijay Jagdale said, “In the last three years, we have recommended the cancellation of 31 armed licenses to the concerning authorities in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh. Indeed, maximum numbers of weapons have been seized in Chandigarh and it shows the professional approach of the UT police for curbing the illegal use of firearms. But there is a fact, all seized firearms were not used in the firing of committing a crime. These weapons were seized from the suspects during checking, following secret information.”
There is a growing trend of carrying and using firearms. Sociologist Dr Rani Mehta, HoD of Sociology Department in PU, said, “There are different reasons behing this horrific trend. First, the easy availability of illegal weapons in our country. Second, a sense of machoism for possessing and showcasing the weapons. In our region, which is Punjabi dominated area, firearms become a part of our culture, which is very threatening. There are songs, movies and dramas, which glorify the gun culture.”
DCP (Panchkula) Kamal Deep Goyal, said, “In the connection of the licensed weapons used in crime, we are recommending the cancellation of license to the concerning authorities. In the case of firing at Hotel North Park, cancellation of license of the accused, Anup Jindal, was recommended to the Bathinda district administration.” Anup Jindal had fired three gunshots and injured a man, Fateh Singh, who attempted to rescue a woman from being thrashed, in the parking lot of Hotel North Park on June 23.
However, in the view of the availability of licensed weapons, Mohali, including the urban areas and the rural areas, has the highest number of weapons, among the three cities. As many as 8285 licensed weapons are in Mohali, 6400 licensed weapons in Chandigarh and 2,155 licensed weapons in Panchkula.