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Sandeep Pai, Hindustan Times
Etah, Uttar Pradesh, October 02, 2013
Everyone in Uttar Pradesh, school teachers, included, is obsessed with guns.

Take Prakash Tomar, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, for instance.  A school teacher residing in Etah, he bought a katta for `2,000 just recently from Manpur area in Etah district.

He already possesses another unlicensed katta which he had bought three years ago.

“I keep both the kattas loaded with ammunition because in times of crisis I won’t get time to reload,” he said.

Ask Tomar why he felt the need for a second weapon and he points to the Muzaffarnagar riots that claimed forty five lives.

“I feel insecure,’’ he says.

He blames the Samajwadi Party government saying they failed to prevent the riots.

“Now I can’t be dependent on the police or the government. The law and order is beyond control now,” says Tomar.

He sleeps with the newly bought katta under his pillow. The second weapon is kept in a box in the kitchen, not far from his bedroom.

For Tomar, the guns come loaded with large doses of security. In UP, even school teachers are fearful.

“I’m threatened because students get low marks,’’ he says.