Delhi lawmaker tells gun owners to save women: Report

By AFP
Published: January 26, 2013

A girl holds a placard on a protest rally in the southern city of Hyderabad in India. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

NEW DELHI: Gun owners should roam the streets at night and use their weapons to prevent crimes against women, Delhi’s lieutenant governor has said in the wake of the brutal gang rape and murder of a student in the capital, according to a report Saturday.

Tejendra Khanna, who heads the national capital’s police department, on Friday urged gun-owning residents to put their weapons to “social service” and scare away potential molesters, The Indian Express said.

“Gun owners with licences must roam lonely spots like bus stands each night and if they spot someone harassing a woman, they should use their weapon to stop the crime,” the federal administrator said in a speech.

“They can at least spend an hour or so every day with their friends in public after nightfall,” Khanna said, according to the Indian Express.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party condemned Khanna’s remarks, saying “citizens should not be advised to take their law into their own hands in any situation”.

The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey estimates India is home to 40 million civilian-owned firearms of an estimated 650 million worldwide. Just 6.3 million Indian arms are registered.

Khanna’s remarks came as Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in a speech Friday said the December 16 attack on the student who died of massive internal injuries “has left our hearts empty and our minds in turmoil”.

Police say rape cases in New Delhi jumped 23.4 percent to 706 in 2012 from a year earlier, highlighting rampant crime against women in the sprawling metropolis of 16 million people.

The murder of the 23-year-old student ignited street protests and calls for harsher punishments for rapists.

Five men are on trial for the rape and killing while a sixth has said he is under 18 and that his case should be heard in juvenile court.

New Delhi is known as the most unsafe major Indian city for women with more than twice as many rape cases registered in 2011 than in commercial hub Mumbai.

Reader Comments (11)

  • Parvez
    Jan 26, 2013 - 2:42PM

    I am puzzled………………..is that a good idea ???????

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  • Nobody
    Jan 26, 2013 - 2:44PM

    What horrible advice. Not only is he encouraging people with possibly no experience actually firing any type of gun to be vigilantes, he’s opening a can of worms assuming all of those citizens will be ‘good-hearted’ folks looking out for fellow citizens. So many things wrong with such a silly, poorly thought out statement. Relief to see I’m not the only one who thought so.

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  • Pakistani
    Jan 26, 2013 - 3:33PM

    Meanwhile indian police is partying Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo.
    Jan 26, 2013 - 5:31PM

    He just wanted to prove that he too put his foot in his mouth

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  • maestro
    Jan 26, 2013 - 9:45PM

    Ummm – and the Indian police don’t have guns? They are being PAID to do what exactly? If a senior gov’t official is asking the civilian society to become a vigilante group taking the law in their own hands, what is the gaurantee that those same armed groups will not protect the rapists for a price at the barrel of a gun?? Sorry, its a stupid idea. With love from Pakistan.

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  • boco
    Jan 26, 2013 - 11:13PM

    Indian Rehman Malik

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  • indian
    Jan 26, 2013 - 11:17PM

    i gotta feeling that this delhi rape case will soon form laws favouring women against men…..hmmmmm

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  • gp65
    Jan 26, 2013 - 11:41PM

    BAd bad idea. IT is the job of the police too protect civilians. Encouraging vigilantism is ot ths solution.

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  • gp65
    Jan 27, 2013 - 6:26AM

    @maestro: “Ummm – and the Indian police don’t have guns? They are being PAID to do what exactly?”

    You are absolutely correct. Delhi has double the number of rapes than Mumbai which is equally large. Instead of taking accountability as police chief he is deflecting it on civilians. Very irresponsible statement encouraging vigilantism.

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  • Something Clever
    Jan 27, 2013 - 8:52AM

    …and if the rapists themselves are gun owners?

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  • 1984
    Jan 28, 2013 - 2:55AM

    I’ve a better plan….Call the Batman !!!

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