The administration in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior-Chambal region has decided to cancel the gun licences of those who have large amounts of power dues outstanding, an official said on Friday.

“People of Chambal consider guns as their pride. Loss of gun is considered as loss of respect. The decision has been taken to recover huge power dues,” the official said.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Gwalior Division Commissioner Komal Singh, with the officials of the Central Region Power Distribution Company.

Gwalior Collector Akash Tripathi was asked to submit a list of people possessing gun licences in the district.

“Yes, the decision to cancel gun licences of those having huge outstanding of power dues was taken at a meeting over a month ago. The civic polls were announced which facilitated the depositing of arms with the administration. So now we have thought not to release the arms until the owners show No Objection Certificate from the power company. Power dues in Gwalior district alone are more than Rs.1.70 crore,” Tripathi told IANS.

“There are more than 25,000 gun licences in Gwalior, while there are over 40,000 in Morena and Bhind and 10,000 each in Shivpuri and Sheopur districts,” another official said.