Election Season in Wagholi: Licensed Firearm Holders Urged to Surrender Weapons

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Wagholi, 21st March 2024: In Wagholi, a total of 165 individuals, including information officers, activists, political office bearers, and businessmen, have obtained licensed pistols within the Lonikand police station limits. Currently, amidst the election code of conduct, the process of surrendering these firearms to the police station is underway.

To obtain a licensed weapon, individuals must submit an application to the administration in the prescribed format, subject to thorough verification. Applicants must provide a valid reason for possessing the firearm, typically citing self-defense purposes. However, acquiring such licenses entails significant expense. Given the substantial presence of industries such as mining, quarrying, hospitality, education, and real estate in Wagholi and its vicinity, there’s a notable demand for licensed firearms among professionals in these sectors.

Licensed firearm holders, predominantly carrying pistols, often keep their weapons either on their person or in their vehicles, accompanied by an account of the accompanying cartridges provided to the police. With the commencement of the Lok Sabha Elections, the election code mandates the temporary surrender of these firearms to the police station.

Despite instructions from the authorities to deposit their licensed weapons, only a handful of individuals have complied thus far. Failure to surrender the firearms within the stipulated time frame may result in police intervention, as highlighted by Kailas Kare, senior police inspector of the Lonikand Police Station.

There’s a prevailing notion among citizens that some individuals obtain licensed weapons not out of genuine necessity for self-defense but rather to bolster their social status and prestige. This sentiment raises questions regarding the underlying motivations behind acquiring such firearms within the community.