SRINAGAR: Licensed arms holders in Kashmir valley are scrambling to get a Unique Identification Number (UIN) following a directive by Union Ministry of Home Affairs to complete the process by October end.
The directive is aimed at compiling a National Database of Arms License (NDAL) and rolling out of Indian Arms Licenses Issuance System (IALIS) across India. The move is expected to bring transparency in the system, easing renewals along with a better tracking of arms.
The ministry directive has brought an unusual rush to the District Development Commissioner’s office in Srinagar with many non-local arms licenses holders applying for no-objection certificates to get their data uploaded in their respective states.
“My brother was issued an arms license here in 1997. On his behalf, I want to get a no-objection certificate from the office, so that my brother could get a UIN,” said Hari Singh Rawat who has come from Haryana.
Till 2013, authorities in Srinagar alone had issued 96,716 arms licenses, officials had revealed after a Right to Information appeal filed by this paper a year ago.
The RTI had revealed that apart from licenses for Non Prohibited Bore Weapons-mostly Single and Double barrel rifles, licenses have also been issued for pistols and revolvers.
Additional Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Qazi Sarwar told Kashmir Reader that the process of getting UIN would give law enforcing agencies a readily available tool to check the authenticity of the issued licenses and movement of arms.
According to Union Ministry of Home Affairs website, a person holding a licensee and is no longer residing in the jurisdiction of issuing authority will be registered at the place where he has shifted. He/she would only have to get a no-objection certificate from the authorities where the licensee was issued.
The ministry website said that without the UIN, no arms license shall be considered valid from October onwards.
NDAL will have information on type of arms, name of the license holders, addresses, and period of validity. However, only one UIN will be awarded to a licensee holder thus clubbing multiple licenses if any.
An individual licensee may have maximum three firearms as provided under Section 3(2) of the Arms Act 1959.