At least 76 per cent of the licensed gun owners have deposited their arms to the police in Mizoram ahead of the November 28 Assembly elections, a senior police officer said Tuesday. Inspector General of Police (IGP) L H Shanliana said that 10,337 licensed gun owners had deposited their firearms in various police stations across Mizoram.
The deputy commissioners of all the districts in the state had issued orders asking all registered gun owners to deposit their firearms before the Assembly elections as per a directive issued by the Election Commission of India. Shanliana hoped that all licensed gun owners, including farmers, would deposit their firearms before the polls though the farmers need guns to protect their jhums (cultivation) from animals at this time of the year.
“We have received excellent cooperation from the village councils in the rural areas and the local councils in the capital Aizawl city,” he said. Keeping in mind the gun owners’ sentiments about their guns, he said they would be able to check and clean their firearms whenever they want to do so by visiting the respective police stations and outposts.
The IGP said that DGPs of neighbouring Assam, Tripura and Manipur have been asked to ensure that no persons or materials that could disrupt the poll process in Mizoram should be allowed to enter the state. Superintendents of police and officers-in-charge of border districts have been put on high alert.
Close circuit television cameras were in place in the border outposts at Assam border Vairengte, Saiphai and Bairabi and Tripura border Zawlnuam Police outposts, the IGP added.