UP Govt declines to provide automatic firearms to gunners on security duty of legislators
The Uttar Pradesh government refused to entertain a demand from a section of opposition members to provide automatic firearms like AK-47 to gunners. The opposition members claimed that PSOs were armed with antiquated carbine and sten guns which did not work properly.
Mohammad Aslam Raini (BSP) through a question in the Assembly on Monday, said that the life of legislators were in danger as gunners provided to them have worn out firearms which sometimes do not work.
Cracking a joke, Raini said that it would be better if members were provided with ‘gulel’ (catapult) which was more accurate than carbines. He even said that these (gulels) were not detected by metal detectors and could be carried inside Vidhan Sabha.
“Are you carrying a aslaha (firearm) with you,” Speaker Hridaya Narain Dixit asked in astonishment. The legislator unbuttoned his shirt to show a catapult hanging around his neck.
Another member supported him and even demanded that the number of gunners provided by the government should be enhanced to two from one.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Suresh Kumar Khanna outrightly rejected the demand saying that the previous SP government had issued a Government Order (GO) in May, 2014 maintaining that no gunner of legislators should be provided with Ak-47, Ak-56 and Mi-5 weapons.
Khanna said that to provide efficient security to legislators, the government has started refreshers course for gunners and the first batch of 247 gunners were undergoing training at Sitapur from February 2. The gunners can also get their firearms checked at District Police Firing Range.
“We are concerned about the security of legislators and gunners would be trained accordingly and their firearms would be made effective,” he said.
Raini added that the government should also bring a Bill to provide full wages of a legislator to his widow if he died during an attack and the gunner failed to protect him.
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