Women empowering themselves, literally

It is no surprise that the number of women applying for arms licences in the town has been rising consistently over the past few years, according to the official records.

“A total of one thousand applications from women seeking licences for arms have been received by the district magistrate’s office in Gorakhpur this year,” City Magistrate Arun Kumar said. Whether moving around with licensed arms was a mere status symbol or was meant for protection? Women appear to be divided on the issue.

“Incidents of crime have been increasing day-by-day.  We have to protect ourselves also,” quips Kumkum Singh, a housewife. She finds nothing wrong in women seeking arms licences.

“It is nothing more than a status symbol,” says Pooja Virmani, a student of Lucknow University.

Officials say there was no bar in granting arms licence to the women if they fulfil the legal requirements. “We process their applications like those of the men... there is no discrimination,” Kumar said.

He, however, feels that there is a possibility of “misuse” of the arms licenses. “Men, who want to possess more than one weapons may use women of their house to apply for arms licences,” he said.

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