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Punjab tightens gun regulations; Ban on public display of firearms, songs glorifying weapons

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Chandigarh, Nov 13: The Punjab government on Sunday banned the public display of firearms, including on social media, and songs allegedly promoting gun culture and violence, as it tightened regulations after facing flak from the Opposition over the law and order situation.

The state government also directed a review of arms licences within the next three months, with no new licence to be issued during the period, and surprise checks, according to an official order. A complete ban should be imposed on carrying and displaying weapons at public gatherings, religious places, wedding ceremonies and other events, the order said.

Punjab tightens gun regulations; Ban on public display of firearms, songs glorifying weapons

Directions were also issued for registration of an FIR against those indulging in hate speech against any community, the order said. The Bhagwant Mann government has been under fire from opposition parties – Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP - for the alleged deteriorating law and order situation after a string of sensational killings.

The state witnessed the murder of Shiv Sena (Taksali) leader Sudhir Suri on November 4 and Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pardeep Singh on November 10. Both of them were under police protection. Earlier the killing of international Kabaddi player Sandeep Nangal Ambian in Jalandhar in March and the brutal murder of singer Sidhu Moosewala in May had sparked outrage.

There was also a rocket-propelled grenade attack at the Punjab police intelligence headquarters in Mohali and After the murder of the Dera follower, the opposition parties had said that the state had become the “terror capital” of the country with a reign of anarchy. The state's home department, in a missive to the police head, commissioners of police, deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police, said the chief minister had issued directions to take these steps to maintain law and order in the state.

According to the order, songs that glorify weapons and violence should be completely banned. There should be a complete ban on public display of weapons including on social media, the order said. It stated that within three months, there should be a review of arms licenses issued till now and if any arm license is found issued to any wrong person, it should be cancelled immediately.

The order further stated that no new arms license will be issued in the next three months. Such a license should only be issued if the concerned official is satisfied at a personal level that it is necessary to give it. In the coming days, surprise checks should be conducted at different places, the order said. The fresh order comes a day after a major reshuffle in the police department was done by the state government.

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