Madhya Pradesh women and child development minister Archana Chitnis on Wednesday said she has asked the state home department to issue weapon licenses to eligible women and girls on a priority basis.
"I have recently asked the state home department to issue weapon licenses to girls and women, who are eligible, according to the rules," Chitnis told PTI.
"Girls and women rarely apply for weapon license," she added.
"Job opportunities for women have increased a lot now. (But) These opportunities have thrown up challenges for them," the minister said, adding "so now they have be prepared to face these challenges."
My recommendation is that if a women requires a weapon license, then she should get it without delay. This would boost their morale & they'll feel confident: Archana Chitnis, Madhya Pradesh Women and Child welfare minister on recommendation of facilitation of gun license to women pic.twitter.com/fevdzAlX54— ANI (@ANI) December 13, 2017
Her department is providing driving lessons to 10,000 girls across the state, Chitnis said.
"After getting the driving license, these girls will be driving at odd hours too. So the girls, if they apply, should get the weapon license on a priority basis," said the minister.
This came a few days after the state assembly unanimously passed a “historic” bill awarding death to rapists of girls aged 12 or below, becoming the first Indian state to introduce capital punishment as a deterrence against child rapists.
“There are people in society who can be set right only by severe punishments. It (the legislation) will deal with them. We will also raise awareness in society against such crimes,” chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
Madhya Pradesh has acquired a dubious distinction of accounting for the highest 4,882 out of the 38,947 rape cases registered in the country in 2016, as per the National Crime Record Bureau's data. The state had recorded the highest number of rape cases in the country (4,391) in 2015 too.
(With PTI inputs)