Meghalaya govt stops issue of arms licences temporarily

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Shillong, Jan 21 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has decided not to issue any fresh arms licences temporarily in view of the upcoming Assembly election.

Election will be held on March 3 for the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly. The counting will be held on March 7.

''We have decided not to issue any fresh arms licences to prevent any untoward incidents during the election,'' Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee told UNI here today.

He said the prohibition was aimed at conducting peaceful election and also to prevent any misuse of firearms.

Mr Chatterjee, however, said the renewal of licences to old arms was upto the discretion of the deputy commissioners.

The District Magistrates of all seven districts in the state imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, prohibiting carrying of arms by the public, to ensure peaceful elections.

There are 60 seats in the Assembly, out of which 55 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.

A fortnight ago, the state government had asked the proscribed Achik National Volunteers' Council (ANVC) not to interfere or get involved, directly or indirectly, in the poll-related work.

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