WCD recommends arms licence to women on priority in Madhya Pradesh Social activists say such measures cannot curb crimes against women
Woman and child development department (WCD) has recommended to home department to issue arms licence to women on priority in view of increasing violence against women including rape incidents in Madhya Pradeshbhopal Updated: Dec 14, 2017 21:06 IST
Woman and child development department (WCD) has recommended to home department to issue arms licence to women on priority in view of increasing violence against women including rape incidents in Madhya Pradesh, said official sources.
Madhya Pradesh again topped the crime chart on rape incidents in the country as per the latest National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report on crimes which is for the year 2016.
As per official sources the rape victims and other women who feel they are facing threat to their life or dignity can apply for the licence and if the home department agrees to the WCD’s recommendation it will consider the application on priority. Since women are vulnerable to crimes like sexual harassment and other kinds of violence this would help them combat the crimes against them and also the criminals.
The WCD’s step comes about one and a half months after the gang rape near Habibganj railway station in the middle of the capital city which rocked the state and the state government forcing it to announce a number of measures to be undertaken for security of women in the state.
Talking to the Hindustan Times Archna Chitnis, woman and child development minister said, “Not only rape victims but also any woman who feels threatened can apply for the arms licence. This is another step in the way of women empowerment in the state. The trend in society is it’s mainly men who apply for arms licences. This needs to be looked into, hence the recommendation.”
On a question Chitnis denied that increasing violence against women or rape incidents in Madhya Pradesh was any reason behind the recommendation.
As on March 17, 2017 there were as many as 247130 arms licences in Madhya Pradesh, as per a reply given in Rajya Sabha by the central government.
However, a social activist Prathna Mishra is not happy with the WCD’s step.
“Neither capital punishment nor arms licence is an answer to crimes against women. Responsibility of giving security to women in society lies with the government. By making such a recommendation the state government wants to divert the attention of people from real issues which concern women security like creating an environment in the state for women’s safety, constituting fast track courts for early decisions on rape cases, providing all kinds of support to and rehabilitation of rape victims etc. Instead, government should ensure that there is no crime against women”, said Prathna.
Social activist Rolly Shivhare dubbed the step as absurd and asked if the government could provide arms licence to minors also who were also victims of rape? What would a rape victim do with a gun after she has lost her dignity? Is it not the duty of government to create a safe environment for women instead of taking such an absurd and ridiculous step?
Another social activist Sarika Sinha spoke in a similar vein saying arms licences cannot curb the crimes against women. “May be the intention of the government with such a step to instill a sense of fear in criminals. However, if government takes measures to curb crimes against women effectively such a step will hardly be needed”, she added.
First Published: Dec 14, 2017 21:06 IST