Jammu & Kashmir

JK yet again tops list in issuance of gun licenses: Report

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has yet again topped the list of states, Union Territories of India where arms licenses with all India permission, were issued during the past three years despite the arrest of several high profile officials by the CBI in fake gun licenses scam.

Quoting official data, a report by Deccan Herald said that of the 22,805 fresh arms licenses issued across the country between 2018 and September 15 this year, 17,905 were issued in JK, which accounts for 78.51% of the licenses.

In the same period, a total of 94,400 arms licenses with all India permission across the country, out of which, 14,172 were done in JK.

The report said that between January 1, 2018, and September 15, 2020, a total of 2,435 licenses were cancelled nationwide and most of these (1,911) were in Uttar Pradesh while JK accounted for just three licenses.

Pertinently, the CBI is already investigating alleged irregularities in the grant of over two lakh arms licenses in different districts of Jammu and Kashmir from 2012-2016. In March this year the probe agency had arrested former district magistrates Rajiv Ranjan (IAS) and Itrit Hussain Rafiqui in the case, the report said.

The two officers were allegedly involved in the issuance of a large number of gun licenses on the basis of forged documents.

In 2018, JK government had recommended a CBI probe into the gun license racket after names of public officials, especially some IAS officers, surfaced during investigations carried out by Rajasthan police’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS). The unholy nexus between bureaucrats-middlemen-arms dealers was unraveled by the Rajasthan police’s ATS in 2017.

The report also mentioned that the probe agency is investigating alleged irregularities in the grant of over two lakh arms licenses in different districts of JK.

In December last year, the CBI had conducted simultaneous raids at 17 locations in Srinagar, Jammu and three other cities including Gurgaon (Haryana), Mohali (Punjab) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh) covering houses and offices of eight former district magistrates/deputy commissioners in connection with the scam.

“If some of these licenses go into the hands of anti-national elements, it could prove costly. It is high time that issuance of gun licenses in JK is streamlined,” the report quoted a senior police officer saying

“Some big players are making a fortune by selling fake arms licenses and supplying sophisticated weapons to businessmen, builders and even to certain journalists based outside J&K which needs to be stopped at once,” the officer said in the report.


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