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Pimpri mayor ‘arms’ herself

Pmpri-Chinchwad Mayor Aparna Doke created a record of sorts as she became the first mayor of the industrial town to move around with a gun.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
February 4, 2009 1:30:02 am

Pmpri-Chinchwad Mayor Aparna Doke created a record of sorts as she became the first mayor of the industrial town to move around with a gun.

A few days back,the city police approved an arms licence for the mayor. This means that the mayor will now be able to carry a hand gun. “No,there is no danger to my life,” Doke told this paper on Tuesday when asked whether she apprehends any danger to her life. “I have my family business in Junnar and other places. So I have to regularly travel out of the city at odd hours. For my personal safety’s sake,I have decided to arm myself,” she said.

The mayor said she often goes on official visits to different parts of the country including Mumbai. “Had I been in one of those Mumbai hotels on 26/11,it would have terrifying without arms,” she said.

Doke said at a public function in Pimpri-Chinchwad that she won’t be seen carrying a pistol. “Neither will I carry it at PCMC headquarters. But I will carry the pistol when I am moving out of the town or on business tours,” she said,dismissing reports that Pimpri-Chinchwad was increasingly becoming unsafe for citizens,especially women.

Doke said she had filed an application with the police seeking an arms licence about four-five months back. “I had to submit a certificate of having undergone a rifle shooting training. I had received the certificate after I underwent a day-long training in rifle shooting at a private club,” said Doke who was elected to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation on an NCP ticket from Chinchwadgaon ward in 2007 elections. Assistant police commissioner Pradeep Patil said the mayor is entitled to a non-prohibited pistol. “Any citizen can get an arms licence provided he or she proves that there is a genuine threat to their life. They have to submit a certificate of having undergone rifle shooting. It is not necessary to undergo one-day training or one-month training. What is important is that you should be acquainted with handling arms,” he said. Compared to her predecessors Vaishali Ghodekar and Mangala Kadam,Doke’s tenure so far free from any controversies.

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