The Election Commission (EC) has asked District Magistrates across the country to issue orders to licensed firearms and ammunition holders to deposit them with the authorities, an official said on Saturday. Also Read - Bengal May Witness 7-8 Phase Election, Full Poll Schedule Likely to be Announced in First Week of Feb

The notification was issued to avoid any pre-poll and post-poll violence. Also Read - MEA Gives Assent to Election Commission's Proposal Extending Postal Ballot Facility to Indians Abroad

“The Commission has asked the District Magistrates and Divisional Commissioners across the country to issue necessary order to deposit licensed firearms and ammunition by those civilians having such arms and ammunition,” an EC official, who did not want to be named, said here. Also Read - West Bengal BJP Writes to EC, Urges For Early Deployment of Central Forces Ahead of 2021 Assembly Polls

The firearms and ammunition have to be “deposited in the nearest police station ten days to two weeks before the day of polling” in the respective states, the notification said.

“If any licensed firearms and ammunition holders fail to obey the orders of the District Magistrates and Divisional Commissioners, they would be liable to be prosecuted under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code,” the official said.

Under Section 188 of the IPC, the defaulter would be punished with simple imprisonment for a term extendable up to one month or with fine extendable up to Rs 200, or with both.

The EC order would not be applicable to state and central forces and bank guards.

However, private security personnel in possession of such licensed firearms and ammunition will have to take written permission from the concerned authorities, the official added.

The District Magistrates also promulgated Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure along the international borders and prohibited movement of civilians along the frontiers from evening to morning.