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Koadava Samaja trains gun on govt. over firearm rule

Special Correspondent
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Warns of non-cooperation to Sahitya Sammelan

Kodava people and Jamma holders are exempted from obtaining licences to hold firearms as they enjoy the concessions under Section 3 and 4 of the Indian Arms Act.— File Photo
Kodava people and Jamma holders are exempted from obtaining licences to hold firearms as they enjoy the concessions under Section 3 and 4 of the Indian Arms Act.— File Photo

The Madikeri unit of the Kodava Samaja has expressed displeasure over the restrictions being imposed by the Kodagu district administration on the Kodava people and ‘Jamma’ (a land tenure) holders who sought the customary exemption certificates (ECs) to hold firearms.

The Samaja and the members of the community would extend non-cooperation to the proposed All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelan slated for January 7, 8 and 9 in Madikeri, if the restrictions were not revoked by the Hutri (Puttari) — harvest festival, scheduled on December 18. The president of the Madikeri Kodava Samaja, Moovera K. Subbaiah, who addressed a press conference in Madikeri on Wednesday, blamed the district administration for ‘unnecessarily’ putting up hurdles to the people who sought ECs.

Kodava people by ‘race’ and Jamma holders are exempted from obtaining licences to hold firearms as they enjoy the concessions under Section 3 and 4 of the Indian Arms Act. The officials, who came to the district following transfers, were creating confusions in the minds of the people with regard to the EC issue. How the officials of the district administration could ask the EC seekers to produce land records pertaining to 1918, Mr. Subbaiah wondered. He said there were over 2,500 applications of the EC applicants pending in Kodagu following the imposition of the new rule.

On the other hand, the request of the outsiders, who sought licenses, were being granted without a murmur, Mr. Subbaiah alleged. The officials had always troubled the EC applicants with one or the other reasons and it should stop, Mr. Subbaiah demanded. A situation where all 18 principal inhabitant groups in the district could rise and unite to stay away from the sammelan could arise if the restrictions were not lifted before the Hutri festival, Mr. Subbaiah said.

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