By Larnun – The Chin State government has imposed a local order restricting people from carrying knives, spears, shotguns, and bows and arrows in Mindat town.
The ordinance, which has been implemented by the General Administration Department since January 3, was reportedly introduced to protect rule of law and regional stability. People will be required to obtain a special permit to carry these weapons—the violation of which could lead to charges under the 1948 Chin Regional Act, 34/6.
Yet the law has been met with criticism by locals like Shur Lein Naing, who lives in Mindat town, and says that the ordinance threatens Chin traditions.
“I don’t mind the restrictions on carrying shotguns, spears, and bows and arrows—but knives, we use knives everyday,” he explained. “They should not restrict the carrying of knives because our jobs will be both inside and outside the town. Sometimes we have to use knives in our work.”
Shur Lein Naing said he agreed with restrictions on other weapons, particularly in town, but pointed out that many of these weapons are regularly used in the forests outside populated areas.
“It’s better if there’s a partial restriction—absolute restrictions will be a problem for us,” he told Khonumthung News. Recent stabbings and shootings in Mindat town have led the government to issue the harsher restrictions on weapons.