On Saturday, March 30, the Election Commission of India has asked all the District Magistrates across the country to issue orders to licensed firearms and ammunition holders to deposit them with the authorities, as confirmed by an official in Agartala.
The firearms and ammunition have to be ‘deposited in the nearest police station ten days to two weeks before the day of polling’ in the respective states, stated the notification.
The notification has been issued to prevent any pre-poll and post-poll violence.
"The Commission has asked the District Magistrates and Divisional Commissioners across the country to issue necessary order to deposit licensed firearms and ammunition by those civilians having such arms and ammunition," an EC official, said in Agartala.
He also said that any if any licensed firearms and ammunition holders fail to obey the orders of the District Magistrates and Divisional Commissioners, they would be liable to be prosecuted under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
It states - Disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant. If such disobedience causes obstruction, annoyance or injury to persons lawfully employed, then the person shall be punished with imprisonment of one month, a fine or both. If such disobedience causes danger to human life, health or safety, etc then the person shall get imprisonment for six months, a fine or both. It is a cognizable and bailable offence.
The central and state forces and bank guards are exempted from this EC order. However, private security personnel in possession of such licensed firearms and ammunition will have to take written permission from the concerned authorities.
The District Magistrates has also promulgated Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPc) of 1973 along with the international borders and prohibited movement of civilians along the frontiers from evening to morning.
This empowers an executive magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four persons in an area and the power to issue an order in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger. The punishment for which can extend up to three years, a fine, or both.