'Right to Life': Amid Outrage Over Hathras Rape, Bhim Army Chief Demands Gun License for Community
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad at a protest in New Delhi on Friday. (AFP)
Amid the controversy over the alleged rape and murder of a 19-year-old woman in UP’s Hathras, Bhim army activists demanded gun licenses and subsidised guns for the unprivileged sections.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad said that the constitution provides its citizens with the right to live including the right to defend themselves, a report in Hindustan Times said.
“Our demand is that the 20 lakh Bahujans of the country be granted gun licenses immediately. The government should provide us a 50 % subsidy to purchase guns and pistols. We will defend ourselves,” Azad on Twitter said.
सँविधान में हर नागरिक को जीने का अधिकार दिया है, जिसमें आत्म रक्षा का अधिकार शामिल है। हमारी माँग है कि देश में 20 लाख बहुजनों को हथियारों के लाइसेंस तत्काल दिया जाए। हमें बंदूक़ और पिस्तौल ख़रीदने के लिए 50% सब्सिडी सरकार दे। हम अपनी रक्षा खुद कर लेंगे। #Gun_Licence_For_Bahujan— Chandra Shekhar Aazad (@BhimArmyChief) October 3, 2020
The demand comes amid outrage against Hathras district police and administration over handling of the rape of a 19-year-old girl from Dalit community. The SP and other police officials were earlier suspended after the outrage and a CBI enquiry was ordered.
Raising the demand for gun license, Dalit activist Suraj Yengde cited the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, which empowers the state government to provide arms licenses to ensure the safety of person and property.
Reacting to the statement, BJP MP Rakesh Sinha called the demand “ridiculously crafted”. “Indian Constitution and our democratically elected government are committed to the protection of citizens judiciously and effectively. Such suggestions and demands (for guns) are ridiculously crafted just for gimmicks,” the BJP MP said.
Congress said that non-violence will prevail over injustice. “... I believe the Gandhian philosophy is the way to go. Non-violence will win you the fight against injustice,” Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh said.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Shiv Sena have demanded CRPF cover for the victim’s family.