Over 7,400 weapons have been deposited or deemed deposited with the police in SAS Nagar district, with the elections just five days away. Since the last assembly elections in 2012, the number of arms licence holders has seen a jump of 20% to 8,100. Last elections, the number was 6,700. Officials said .32 barrel gun is the favourite weapon of the arms holders as 4,500 people have registered the gun in their name.
The deposit mathematics goes like this: a total of 6,721 arms have been deposited and another 550 are with the banks. The banks have already given an undertaking that no one is allowed to take the weapons home and are deposited with the banks.
The exercise has thrown up some interesting figures. The maximum number of weapons are registered in Kharar sub-division which is more than 3,000. Mataur has reported 1,123 arms licences. Nayagaon has the minimum number of arms licence holders with 168 and in Dera Bassi, there are a maximum of 535 arms licence holders.
Sources revealed that before the election code of conduct was enforced, a survey was conducted in which it was found that 606 arms licence holders were untraceable as they might have changed addresses. There were 162 people who had sold the weapon, but still retained the weapon in their name.
“Owning a weapon is kind of style statement and a tradition in Punjab,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, SSP SAS Nagar.