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Court bans celebratory gunfire in Indian state

Published By United Press International
LUCKNOW, India, May 1 (UPI Asia) – A court in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Tuesday banned the use on celebratory gunfire at private and public events such as weddings, birthdays and victory processions.

The High Court said such firings were a "brazen display and misuse" of arms and constitute an offense even if the gunmen have legal licenses for the firearms.

"Henceforth, the arm license holders of state are restrained from using arms in celebratory firing on the occasion of marriage, birthday, victory procession or similar gathering," Justices Abdul Mateen and Sudhir Kumar Saxena said.

Anyone who violates the order would be "personally accountable"and would be dealt with "in accordance with law by this court," the order said.

The judges also directed top state and police officials to appear in their court on Thursday with details of such celebratory firings reported over the last year and the action the government took against the offenders.

The judges ordered the officials to "specify the steps the state government is contemplating to arrest such brazen display of arms in functions as well as in public places like highways, government offices [and] guesthouses".

Government lawyer Rishad Murtaza told the judges the state government had already taken steps to check such misuse of firearms.

The judges ordered one of the central government's top lawyers, the assistant solicitor general, to appear before them in the case, calling it "a matter of public importance".

India's most populous state with 200 million people, Uttar Pradesh is also one of its most feudal and male-dominated societies where the ownership and use of firearms are seen as a reflection of status.
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