Women In Punjab Turn To Gunsby AMRITA CHAUDHRY
While the Punjabi men’s love for weapons is legendary, information shows that the state’s women are fast catching up in terms of acquiring arms and learning how to use them.
And these weapons are not just an addition to the family weapon list. Many women are actually learning how to shoot.
Information acquired by a Faridkot-based journalist under the Right To Information Act (RTI) shows that in Punjab, some 31,300 arms licenses have been issued to women and 31,026 of them have in actuality purchased arms.
Arshdeep Kaur, a Faridkot-based teacher who is employed in a government school is one of them.
She explains: “Each day I travel some 18 kilometres for work and at times I too have to venture out at odd hours. Keeping a weapon gives me a sense of confidence and safety. And I know how to use it too”.
Leading the way in the state seems to be the Bathinda Member of Parliament (MP), Harsimrat Kaur - she is also the wife of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh. The MP owns an arms license that allows her to keep three weapons and also holds permission to carry the weapons anywhere in India.
As per the RTI information, Patiala’s women lead the list with 1,361 of them acquiring arms licences, while the womenfolk of Jalandhar follow with 1,032 of them possessing arms licences.
In Amritsar, 962 women have the licences, while in Mukstar 768 of them do. The information shows that 372 women in Faridkot have arms license while in Moga 669 women, Mohali 690 Bathinda 162, Mansa 16, Ferozepur 79, Gurdaspur 396, Pathankot 182, Fatehgarh Sahib 161 and Hoshiarpur 352 women have arms licenses to name a few cities.
There are some 162 licenses in Jalandhar district that are owned by women who stay overseas. These weapons are currently in the custody of the the police.
“Women too have the right, just like men, to keep a weapon,” says Ravi Bhagat, Deputy Commissioner Faridkot.
IPS officer Gurpreet Kaur, IGP Jalandhar Zone, adds: “Awareness these days is high as women travel alone, go out to work and so a weapon for security purposes is legally permitted. Just like a mobile helps one maintain accessibility, a weapon too helps a woman feel more secure”.
The state police seems to have taken note of the new trend. The force recently recruited some 2,200 women and those who could use a weapon were given preference.
[Courtesy: Indian Express]
April 2, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), April 02, 2012, 8:47 AM.
Clever women! This is awesome in the spirit Punjab and of Guru Gobind Singh ... in a country like India where females are mourned at birth and abused! Protecting yourself in today's Indiab reality should be a priority for all self-respecting Sikhs.
2: Parmjit Singh (Canada), April 02, 2012, 11:15 AM.
Good for them for now. It'll be good when women in India - including its capital city, New Delhi, can commute safely without a gun or bodyguard. They should point first at their attackers and then at the onlookers that did not come to their aid.
3: Gurdip Kaur (U.S.A.), April 02, 2012, 3:53 PM.
Yes, the women need to step up their game. Truly, the Khalsa Kaur spirit.
4: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), April 02, 2012, 4:51 PM.
Well-done, weapon-wielding women of Punjab! You remind us of brave Sundri, the memorable heroine of Bhai Vir Singh's moving novel.
5: H.S. Vachoa (U.S.A.), April 02, 2012, 6:45 PM.
Why are weapons kept in the custody of Punjab Police?
6: Tarush Goyal (Barnala, Punjab), January 16, 2014, 7:29 AM.