Gun exemption certificate: Kodagu district administration on confrontation path
The Kodagu district administration has taken the path of confrontation with the local people by putting hurdles in issuing exemption certificates for holding firearms.
It is unfortunate that a young team of IAS and IPS officers who have recently taken over the reins of Kodagu district administration should start their tenure by engaging in a confrontation course with the local people.
Probably the young team at the helm in Kodagu are not aware of the law. The Indian Arms Act allows the people of Kodava race and Jamma tenure holders to possess firearms without licence.
Hitherto, the exemption certificates were issued as per the provision of the Act. According to reports, at present the district administration is asking the people to produce land records pertaining to 1918. This is unreasonable and impractical. It is reported that 2,500 applications for grant of exemption certificates were pending in Kodagu after the new rule was imposed.
The reports said while ‘outsiders’ from the districts were issued with regular gun licences “without a murmur”, the local inhabitants were denied the exemption certificates.
The young team of offers heading the Kodagu administration should read the report submitted by T.P. Issar, while he was working as the deputy commissioner of Kodagu, on the gun privileges conferred on the local people who consider guns as sacred.
This is not to suggest that safeguards should not be built into the system as there is scope for misuse of the privilege. But in the name of safeguards, the common man should not be made to go from pillar to post to obtain the exemption certificate.