Abala to Aadi Shakthi: Armed Self Defence Training to Women

Abala to Aadi Shakthi: Armed Self Defence Training to Women

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Srinivas Madhav started this petition to Shri Amit Shah (Union Home Minister)

Queen Rudrama, a great warrior and second woman emperor of India, reappears in her capital, now known as Warangal, after 750 years, in the form of Nouheen Fathima, who initiated the debate on armed self defence, when entire Nation is struggling to find solutions to crimes against women, particularly brutal murder of Disha, a veterinary doctor at Hyderabad.

It is unfortunate that the police are being blamed from day one. You cannot expect police to always appear the moment a crime is about to happen; in such case no crime will ever happen at all. No country on this earth claims zero crime rate.

Even otherwise, when crimes are committed in fraction of minutes, many times criminals do not allow the victims the luxury of making phone calls to fancy numbers.

Cyberabad Commissioner of Police C. V. Sajjanar, is known for instant justice which is now demanded by lawmakers in the Parliament.

Three men who allegedly threw acid on two engineering college girls were killed in what the police claim to be an encounter, when Sajjanar was the Superintendent of Police, in 2008. In the ever evolving human rights regime, the committed officer may not be enthusiastic to add four more to that account.

Fathima applied for gun licence under the Arms Act 1959, and the Arms Rules 2016 under which possessing of arms for self defence is a statutory right. When a citizen applies under the law the licencing authority should obtain a report from the nearby police station within 30 days and issue the licence within 60 days. Even if the police report in not received within 30 days, the authority is required to decide. If rejected, written reasons should be provided to the applicant. The law provides for appeal against such orders.

In practice, the process is made complicated unnecessarily. This licence is not routinely granted to common people. Most of the applicants are going to court, and getting the licence.

During the discussion on the law, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee said in his dissent, on Aug 8th, 1959, stated as follows:
“The right to bear and carry arms is an inviolable and sacred right of every free citizen and though this has not been included in the list of fundamental rights enumerated in the Indian Constitution, the right of self defence accepted and guaranteed by the Indian Penal Code implicitly acknowledges the right to possess arms. … the only course open for us is to arm our people and make military training compulsory for all adults and able-bodied citizens.”

The US Second Amendment, which was adopted in December 1791, reads:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The U.S. Supreme Court proclaimed that the Second Amendment established an individual right for U.S. citizens to possess firearms.

After Delhi's gruesome Nirbhaya gang rape that shook the country, the Ordnance Factory in Kanpur came out with a light-weight revolver, especially designed for women, a handgun pitched as the country's “first gun for women”. India’s 'lightest gun' Nidar was launched as a robust and handy self-defence weapon, which could easily be carried by women in their purses.

Against a normal revolver that costs Rs 1 lakh, Nidar was launched with Rs 1.20 lakh price tag that went up to Rs 1.40 lakh after inclusion of GST.

The Mysuru City Civilian Rifle Association, a unit of the Mysuru city police, inaugurated 2015, imparts training to civilians mainly women and guides them in getting the necessary forms and obtaining license.

This training can also facilitate a career in sports for girls, if they start early. Abhinav Bindra, an Olympic gold medalist, should be a role model. Another Olympic medalist Gagan Narang runs an institute ‘Gun for Glory’ in Hyderabad. NCC also provides arms training for cadets.

Even if a few women carry gun in their hand bags; the thought itself creates a chilling effect among the criminals.

Besides, Bystander Intervention Training (BIT) program is now considered worldwide to be an effective tool in containing crimes against women. BIT teaches students about gender based violence, consent, and bystander intervention skills. Upon completion of BIT, students will know how to safely intervene in situations that could immediately lead to violence and how to interrupt a culture that is permissive of gender violence. Students will acquire intervention tools to use in situations that seem risky in order to become effective and active bystanders.

Ensuring 33% of recruitment of women police personnel, regulation of sale of liquor and pornography are two other issues to be taken care of by the concerned lawmakers.

The Police in Telangana, instead of taking the entire burden of protecting each and every girl onto their shoulders, which is impossible in any case, should adopt these good practices and be proactive in imparting armed self-defense training to women and send a strong message to the criminals.

I would like to request the Hon'ble Union Home Minister to issue advisory to the states to be proactive in imparting such training to women and concerned citizens.

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