SRINAGAR: Kishtwar, the least populous and village defence committee-influenced district in Jammu, has issued 30, 872 gun licenses from 2014 till date, amounting to 41 per cent of the total licenses issued in the state.
In Kashmir, Kupwara district has issued the most such licenses–12,600 during the period.
It was disclosed by the minister of Home in her written reply to a question raised by MLC Qaiser Jamsheed Lone in the Legislative Council.
Kishtwar district, which saw riots between Muslim and Hindu communities on Eid in August 2013, has, according to the data, saw 20,610 gun licenses issued in 2014, followed by 10,256 in 2015.
The data reveals that out of the 22 districts in the state, Bandipora has issued least such licenses. The district authorities issued only three licenses for guns during the period, followed by Shopian, which issued seven such licenses.
However, a significant decline has been witnessed in district Kulgam that in 2014 issued 4,700 licenses. It didn’t issue any license in 2015, while three have been issued so far this year.
The data reveals that during this year, Pulwama district has so far issued highest number of gun licenses in the state. It has issued 1,549 of them.
The reply also mentioned that state government is “competent” to extend the validity of gun licenses issued by it to three adjoining states or extend the validity to whole of India as per the Arms Act and Rules of GoI Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines.
It, however, said that it has not issued any sale and keep licenses.
A query was also raised by MLA Jevan Lal regarding district magistrates issuing circulars delegating powers of regularisation and authentication of gun licenses to sub-district magistrates and executive magistrates.
The minister replied that no such circular has been issued and the district magistrate is the only authority to issue and renew the gun licenses.