Thirty Omanis jailed over celebratory shooting


Illustrative purpose only. Image - Flicke/Creative Commons

Muscat: In a final verdict issued by the Khasab Appeal Court, 30 Omani nationals accused of firing celebratory shots in the air at a wedding and later trespassing at Taybat and Khasab police stations, were awarded one-and-a-half-year long jail terms.

The court acquitted two while two others were placed under judicial probation.

The incident occurred last summer when a group of citizens resorted to firing, using conventional weapons, at a mass wedding in Khasab, thereby violating the regulations. Later, they committed a trespass at the Taybat and Khasab police stations, according to the Public Prosecution.   

Local residents protested against the arrests, demanding that the accused be released from the Taybat police station. Following clashes with the police personnel at the police station, the locals, mostly young people, forcibly got the accused released.

This prompted the security personnel to requisition reinforcements from the Special Task Force to maintain security in the area.

Such shooting incidents are usually known to happen in the Musandam governorate, and the tradition is being inherited from one generation to the other, like in certain other parts of the Sultanate, but most such weapons are not licensed by the ROP.

Meanwhile, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) recently carried out a drive to register all unlicensed weapons and conventional guns in the Musandam governorate.

More than 500 guns and conventional weapons were registered between May and August this year, according to an ROP official.

After the specified period, all unlicensed guns and conventional weapons that are found unregistered will be confiscated by the ROP, the official informed.

Citizens say they mostly use such conventional weapons for hunting and self-defence since they face threats of pirate attacks when they go for fishing. Earlier, some fishermen were killed by pirates at the sea when they had gone for fishing.

As per the law, possessing conventional guns and other weapons without holding a valid licence issued by the ROP is illegal and anyone found violating this law is liable to be fined OMR100, besides the weapons being confiscated.

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