UP officials seek arms licences

Scared of attacks by anti-social elements as well as mafia and finding police helpless in preventing them, the government officials in Uttar Pradesh have been seeking licenses for arms to protect themselves.

A large number of officials, especially those working with food and civil supplies department, have applied for arms licences. “The number of applications has witnessed a spurt after a recent attempt by the oil mafia to set ablaze a district supply officer (DSO) in Budaun,” said a police official. “The government officials have sought arms licenses citing threat to themselves arising from official responsibilities.”

There have been many incidents of attacks on officials in different parts of the state in the past few months. Some power employees were beaten  when they conducted raids on the premises using illegal electricity connections.

The DSO Neeraj Singh, who had escaped death after the oil mafia tried to set him ablaze following a raid on an oil depot for selling adultered kerosene, has also applied for an arms licence, sources said.

They have also demanded armed police guards to be deployed when they conduct raids. At present only two unarmed home guards accompany officials conducting raids.

Seven years ago, Indian Oil officer S Manjunath had been brutally killed by the oil mafia after he sealed a petrol pump in Lakhimpur Kheri district for selling adulterated petrol.

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