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Gun culture spreads in India
The Los Angeles Times ^ | February 20, 2012 | Mark Magnier

Posted on 02/20/2012 6:34:58 PM PST by James C. Bennett

Indians own about 40 million guns, second only to the U.S. Rising incomes, along with crime and fear of terrorist attacks, have fueled firearms purchases.

Vikramjit Singh stands in the parking lot of a posh club in Chandigarh discussing one of his favorite subjects: guns. He owns 10 or so; he can't remember exactly.

In a Hatfield-versus-McCoy saga that haunts the 25-year-old student, his grandfather was shot to death here in the western state of Punjab and his father imprisoned for a retaliatory murder. Although the two clans signed a truce a few years back, Singh isn't taking any chances.

"Having a gun 24/7 is a necessity," he says.


India, the land of Mohandas Gandhi, known for its Hindu belief in the sanctity of life, is anything but gun-shy. Rising incomes have made high-end weapons a new form of bling, and rising crime and memories of Mumbai's 2008 terrorist attack have left Indians eager to be armed and dangerous.


Government worker Deep Sidhu sits in his living room feeling the weight of the family's Luger, a German World War II-era pistol, in his hands. Guns are in the blood, he says beneath a painting of a man toting a shotgun.

"This forgiveness-peace idea will only make Pakistanis think we're soft targets," he says.

"All that Gandhi stuff is for tourists," adds his father, Raja K.S. Sidhu. "They should go off to Varanasi, see the holy cows."


Tighter regulations also prompted gun owners to found the 3,500-member National Assn. for Gun Rights India in 2010, modeled on America's National Rifle Assn., which lobbies the government to ease restrictions.

"Guns boost an individual's confidence," says a video by the group, titled "Guns For Peace." "Guns are force equalizers."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ammo; banglist; guns; india
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All citizens entitled to possess weapons: HC [INDIA]
The Hindu  | 7 August, 2010

MADURAI: Revenue authorities or police officials cannot refuse to issue arms licences by citing the likelihood of law and order problems as all citizens of the country are entitled to possess weapons, under licence, for self-defence unless their antecedents or propensities do not entitle them for the privilege, the Madras High Court has ruled.

Justice D. Hariparanthaman passed the ruling while allowing a writ petition filed by an agriculturist who was denied licence by the Commissioner of Revenue Administration as well as the Theni District Revenue Officer in 2005 and 2004 respectively to possess a double barrel (DBBL) gun.

The judge said that arms licence could be denied only if there was a threat to public peace or public safety which were of much greater magnitude compared to a law and order problem.

He pointed out that the Arms Act, 1959 was enacted to lessen the rigours of the colonial Arms Act, 1878 which made it difficult for law abiding citizens to possess firearms for self-defence whereas terrorists, dacoits and other anti-social or anti-national elements were using not only civilian weapons but also bombs, hand-grenades, Bren-guns, sten-guns, rifles and revolvers of military type.

The 1959 Act was also intended to recognise the right of the State to requisition the services of every citizen during national emergencies.

“The licensees and permit holders of fire arms, Shikaris (hunters), target shooters and rifle-men in general (in appropriate age groups) will be of great service to the country in emergencies, if the Government can properly mobilise and utilise them,” the Act read.

In so far as the present case was concerned, the petitioner S. Rajkapur said that he was residing in a farm house in a forest area in Theni district. He was doing coconut business and also owned a cardamom estate at Sathurangaparai village in Udumbansolai taluk in Kerala.

He wanted to possess a gun for self protection while carrying huge amount of cash and also to protect his crops from wild animals.

Stating that his grandfather and father possessed gun licences during their lifetime, the petitioner said that he now wanted to purchase a DBBL gun from his uncle.

The jurisdictional Tahsildar recommended issuance of gun licence to the petitioner, yet the Commissioner and the DRO rejected his plea on the basis of a police report apprehending law and order problem. Pointing out that Section 13 (3)(a)(i) of the Arms Act specifically permits grant of licence to protect crops from wild animals, Mr. Justice Hariparanthaman said: “If the family has been in possession of weapon for crop protection, the same should not be denied to the petitioner particularly when there is no criminal case against him.”

India’s sharp-shooter granny fighting male domination

“At first glance there is nothing remarkable about Parkaso Tomar, a hardy 70-something woman who has spent most of her life working in the fields and tending to cattle in a small north Indian village.

Until of course she picks up a gun and fires a volley of shots, all bang on target.

She is the “shooter granny” of Johri village in Uttar Pradesh, a northern province infamous for honour killings and female foeticide. Not the best of places for girls to grow up.

This is where Parkaso Tomar has become an unlikely role model, inspiring a new generation of female shooters ever since she picked up a gun for the first time.

And that was well after she had turned 60.

Since then she has silenced her opponents, both on the shooting range and in the local community, with unwavering commitment and zeal. On the way, she inspired her daughter Seema to become the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Rifle and Pistol World Cup.

It was destiny’s calling that took Parkaso and her much older sister-in-law to the shooting range in Johri, a pretty basic facility in the middle of a sprawling courtyard where poor village children practise for hours in the searing heat.

“I got my granddaughter admitted here, but she said she was afraid of coming alone so I started accompanying her. Then one day I picked up a gun and fired a shot, and it was quite good. So the coach said I should start practising and that I had the potential to be good.”

And then it became a passion.

“In the evenings I would come to the range and fire some shots,” she recalls...”

(Excerpt)

Sharp rise in gun licences issued in city [MUMBAI]

MUMBAI: The number of gun licences granted by the Mumbai police more than doubled from 2006 to 2007. In 2006, the police issued 172 licences, and in the following year, the number shot up to 416. The jump was despite the fact that there was no significant increase in the number of applications for arms licences.

The city police rejected almost two-thirds of the applications for arms licences in the five years from 2003 to 2007. During this period, 3,712 applications were received, but only 1,393 were approved. Most were rejected because they did not cite adequate reasons to justify the need for a weapon.

Of the 1,393 licences granted, 546 were for pistols and 847 for rifles, said businessman and activist Chetan Kothari, who got the information through the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Renewal of a licence for a year costs Rs 50 for a pistol and Rs 20 for a rifle.

Kothari in his RTI application had requested that the police department furnish details of how many politicians, filmstars, businessmen and builders had got arms licences in the last one year. The department mentioned that 20 builders and 12 businessmen were granted licences last year. However in its break-up on the total number of licences granted in 2007, the police refused to specify how many filmstars and politicians held the right to own a pistol or a rifle.

In its reply to Kothari’s RTI application, the Mumbai police also said they had revoked 24 arms licences in 2007, of which 18 were cancelled because the department had received criminal complaints against the licencee. Kothari has now sought the names of these people under the RTI.

The rejection of an arms licence application can be legally challenged. The court may order the police to issue the licence if it finds the reason for rejecting the plea arbitrary. There have been high court judgements which held that minor offences pending against an arms licence applicant were not enough to reject his or her plea, if there was no other reason.

Village Defence Committee of Kashmiri Women
By - Kavita Suri

Kavita Suri is a journalist having 10 years' professional experience in journalism (both print and electronic). Presently working for The Statesman, one of the oldest English dailies of India as its Senior Staff Correspondent based in Jammu and Kashmir, she has worked with various newspapers such as The Kashmir Times, The Tribune etc. She covers the entire state, travels to the Line of Control, the international border and other conflict areas in all the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh of the troubled State. Kavita was also recently invited to United States for three weeks by the US State Department on "US International Visitors Exchange Program". She has made many documentaries and films for Doordarshan's satellite Kashmir channel and the Jammu and Srinagar DD-Ks. As women have suffered badly in the strife-torn state due to the ongoing conflict in Jammu and Kashmir, gender issues are very close to her heart. Her 'Echoes from the Mountains' keep our readers updated about all these issues of the mountainous state and its surrounding areas.

Years of terrorism have spoiled the raw beauty of the valley of Kashmir. But the women in the valley have now decided to set things right in their own way. SAWF member, Kavita Suri brings you the tale of these courageous women through her 'Echoes From the Mountains'.


For the past one and a half decade of terrorism, the Kashmiri women faced the burnt and remained its worst victim. But not any longer. Incredible but it is true. The women of border district of Poonch-Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir have picked up guns against terrorists and thus are protecting themselves from the militants and saving their honour and dignity.

This all women brigade - the first women Village Defence Committee (VDC) has been set up in the twin villages of Marah and Kulali bordering district Poonch. The scene is very different there as compared to other villages. One would find women with guns standing on the rooftops guarding their homes. The VDC members including women get together from cluster of houses and lay ambushes on routes of ingress to that cluster in order to save any civilian killings.

"Having suffered much on the hands of terrorists, a turning point came when in village Katha in this border district on 26 June last year, militants killed twelve women and children. Many incidents of sexual assaults and torture of many women and young girls were also reported. Thus, the women folk of the area who had been "mute sufferers of terrorism" made up their mind to fight against the terrorists. They showed their willingness to get weapons and training from the security forces to protect themselves and their children from militants' excesses," informed Major General G.D.Bakshi who heads the counter-insurgency Romeo Force in Rajouri.

This all-women VDC organizes security on its own for any civil gathering or a national or political event, keeps track of any strange and unauthorized person entering the village and keeps a check on his activities. Besides women, the children and old persons too, have shown willingness to use weapons against militants due to security at home.

The excesses of foreign terrorists on civilians and sexual assault on local women have forced the local population including women and children to pick up gun against them. Terrorists are forcing many locals to work as porters without any payment, committing rape on women and minor girls, utilizing the money, assets and resources of locals for their own use.

"Thus, a strong need was being felt to provide these innocent civilians with some type of self-defence which lead to generation of the idea of a fourth force multiplier," he added.

Village Defence Committee of Marah is just not simple organization but is a new force to reckon with. The VDC Marah now has become a role model for others. It has emerged as local force including trained women and children.

The Village Defence Committees were set up in Jammu and Kashmir in mid-nineties following a number of massacres of the innocent villagers in far flung villages of the troubled region. As the police or army pickets were far off from the civilian areas in these inaccessible villages resulting which the terrorists made these people as their soft targets, the concept of VDCs emerged wherein the civilians were imparted training for self defence and thus repulse terrorist-attack. The state police provided them weapons.

Till now, the VDC members were men in arms doing their routine work and had some defense power against terrorists. During day most of them remain outside their homes to earn livelihood, leaving female and children besides the old persons. But now, women have also joined the men in these VDC. To repulse any attack, the VDC women wing has been constituted.

"The VDC is organized in an infantry company pattern and to give them a sense of pride and belongingness the platoons and sections have been named after the local mohallas and this has worked wonders," said an army officer posted in the area adding presently there are four platoons and twelve sections and one section of women wing.

The training of VDC members is organized at a regular basis at security force company posts and the members are given weapon training which include firing, basic handling and cleaning of weapon, tactical training including minor tactics, battle craft and field craft drills to including stalking, crawling, fire and move.


Arms for Manipur villagers to keep insurgents at bay

May 4th, 2008 - 6:10 pm

Imphal, May 4 (IANS) Authorities in Manipur, one of northeast India’s worst insurgency-hit states, have decided to arm villagers with weapons to enable them protect themselves from militants and control rebel activities, officials said Sunday. “The state cabinet has decided to train up to 500 villagers in the districts of Thoubal and Imphal West and provide them weapons after local residents rose in revolt against excesses committed by armed militants who have been killing civilians and extorting cash,” said Manipur Irrigation and Flood Control Minister N. Biren.

A militant group March 24 killed three people - two teenaged girls and a boy - at Heirok village, and later killed another man at Chajing. Following these incidents, villagers rose in revolt and pressed the government to give them weapons.

To start with, 300 men from Heirok and 200 from Chajing villages would be recruited, given a month’s training on handling weapons and will be provided with .303 rifles. They will also be paid a monthly consolidated salary of Rs.3,000 each.

The new force, whose personnel shall be called ’special police officers’, would be in place from the middle of June.

Manipur, bordering Myanmar, has over two dozen active rebel groups pushing demands ranging from secession from India to maximum autonomy.

No insurgent group from Manipur is engaged in peace talks with the Indian government so far, although around six rag-tag Kuki ethnic rebel outfits are on a ceasefire with the authorities.

The decision to provide weapons to civilians has drawn criticism from civil society and rights groups.

“The move will encourage bloodshed in Manipur among people of the same ethnic origin,” said a statement by the United Committee Manipur (UCM), a civil society combine.

An Indian Army personnel, Surbjeet Singh, instructs the village defence committee, VDC member Renu Bala during a training camp organized by the  Indian Army to protect themselves and their homes from militants at Sarya village near Indo-Pak line of control about 140 KM from the Northern Indian city of Jammu, winter capital of Kashmir on 16 March, 2008. 27 women from Sarya village have been trained to use AK-47s and other heavy-duty weapons. Training of VDC members at regular intervals would imbibe a sense of self-confidence and boost their confidence in dealing with an adverse situation, an Indian Army officer said.



1 posted on 02/20/2012 6:35:09 PM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: All


Despite tough controls on weapons, Indians own about 40 million guns, the second-highest number in the world. Of those, 85% are unregistered Saturday-night specials involved in 90% of firearm homicides. That said, there are only 3 guns for every 100 people in India, compared with 89 guns per 100 Americans, the world leaders, according to

India recorded 80,000 violations of its Arms Act in 2009, involving owning, making and transporting illegal weapons, an 8% increase from 2007, according to India’s National Crimes Records Bureau. Despite the increase, most homicides here still involve knives, machetes and other weapons, with guns accounting for just 14% of killings.

India also remains a far less violent society than the U.S., at 2.78 homicides per 100,000 people, compared with 4.96 Americans per 100,000. Indian gun lovers remain convinced, however, that the country needs more firearms given its low police-to-population ratio, among the world’s worst.

2 posted on 02/20/2012 6:39:42 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Some of the transplant Indians in the US that I know are interested in firearms. I wonder if some of this has been transplanted back in India from US immigrants/workers.

3 posted on 02/20/2012 6:46:18 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: James C. Bennett

Crime is huge in India.

So are Muslims who kill Hindus and Christians.

Glad to see this arming of the citizenry. Very glad.

4 posted on 02/20/2012 6:51:39 PM PST by Talisker (He who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker


5 posted on 02/20/2012 7:01:08 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: James C. Bennett
"All that Gandhi stuff is for tourists," adds his father, Raja K.S. Sidhu. "They should go off to Varanasi, see the holy cows."

Too funny - and too true. Welcome to the real world.

6 posted on 02/20/2012 7:23:13 PM PST by PGR88
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To: James C. Bennett

now...if we could just get the LEGAL gun culture to spread to Brazil, Indonesia, and S Korea...there just might be hope for the world.

7 posted on 02/20/2012 7:24:35 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Vince Ferrer

I doubt if that’s the origin of it. The hindus know the value of a warrior spirit. They have the sikhs in india for christmas sakes.

8 posted on 02/20/2012 7:30:23 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: James C. Bennett
Used to work with a guy from India. Real gun nut. Loved to hunt ironically.
9 posted on 02/20/2012 7:31:17 PM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: redgolum

How does one hunt ironically?

Mrs. AV

10 posted on 02/20/2012 7:41:59 PM PST by Atomic Vomit (
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To: PGR88

“All that Gandhi stuff is for tourists,” adds his father, Raja K.S. Sidhu. “They should go off to Varanasi, see the holy cows.”

‘‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.’’

— Mahatma Ghandi, “Gandhi, An Autobiography”, page 446

11 posted on 02/20/2012 7:55:44 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: Atomic Vomit

Very carefully...

12 posted on 02/20/2012 8:32:31 PM PST by null and void (Day 1126 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: James C. Bennett
Government worker Deep Sidhu sits in his living room feeling the weight of the family's Luger, a German World War II-era pistol, in his hands.

Shows the writer's total unfamiliarity with firearms, and their history. The P-08 Luger pistol is numerated as such because it was adopted into German Military service in 1908, well before WWI, let alone WWII. It was replaced by the Walther P-38 (in 1938, although there would be stocks of P-08's in service with other than front line troops during the Second World War.)

Thus, to call a P-08 a World War II era pistol is factually incorrect, as it was already considered 'obsolete for front line duty' by the time that war even began, let alone ended...

the infowarrior

13 posted on 02/20/2012 8:59:56 PM PST by infowarrior
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To: mamelukesabre
The hindus know the value of a warrior spirit. They have the sikhs in india for christmas sakes.

Undeniably true that the Hindus have a warrior tradition of their own, and always have had it. The Sikhs however, are *not* Hindu, and should not be mistaken as such, nor should they be confused with Moslems. They are a completely separate faith from either Hindus or Moslems...

the infowarrior

14 posted on 02/20/2012 9:04:29 PM PST by infowarrior
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To: infowarrior

Actually, Sikhism began as a Hindu sect, and most, if not all of their core doctrines have practically nothing radically different from what were already present in various Hindu traditions before Sikhism began to be considered a separate religion. In fact, the Sikhs were particularly known for saving Hindus from Muslim Mughal oppression and often the same families had Sikh and Hindu members among them.

15 posted on 02/20/2012 9:10:29 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: CrazyIvan

Thanks, I was going to quote that myself, but looked first because I didn’t believe FReepers would buy that crap about Gandhi.

16 posted on 02/20/2012 9:14:58 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: Atomic Vomit
How does one hunt ironically?

I don't know how to hunt one ironically, but I know how to eat venison ironically. Copy and paste and forward to 03.13, hit the cc box to see english captions. Hysterical Danish dark comedy.
17 posted on 02/20/2012 10:30:36 PM PST by Tailback
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To: mamelukesabre
7 posted on Monday, February 20, 2012 9:24:35 PM by mamelukesabre: “now...if we could just get the LEGAL gun culture to spread to Brazil, Indonesia, and S Korea...there just might be hope for the world.”

Bingo on the benefits of gun ownership in South Korea.

Perhaps the experience of Korean store owners in America's inner cities could educate their relatives back home on the benefits of recovering the pre-Japanese practice of having an armed citizenry. Korean farmers using relatively crude weapons several times drove off well-armed and well-trained Japanese invaders over their history, so it's not as if Korea has no history of teaching self-defense to its people.

There are reasons the Japanese occupiers, post-1905, worked to ban all martial arts training and citizen use of weapons. Koreans, if you get them mad enough, have a pretty serious kimchi temper!

18 posted on 02/20/2012 11:50:39 PM PST by darrellmaurina
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To: James C. Bennett
"This forgiveness-peace idea will only make Pakistanis think we're soft targets," he says.
"All that Gandhi stuff is for tourists,"

The history of India is as steeped in violence and blood as any country in the world.

19 posted on 02/21/2012 3:14:55 AM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
Self-defense rights are human rights. They span across all other considerations -- nationality, culture, gender.

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

20 posted on 02/21/2012 5:02:29 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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