Syndicates operating fake gun licenses J&K in Rajasthan

Syndicates operating fake gun licenses J&K in Rajasthan

Udaipur: Fake gun licences from Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir are being abundantly used to ‘purchase’ arms from gun houses in many parts of Rajasthan, including Udaipur, Sikar and Jaipur, police said.

Around 40 licences from Dimapur in Nagaland – suspected to be fake- were used to purchase guns from gun houses in Jaipur alone. “The findings are matter of concern as this indicates about a inter-state illegal arms license syndicate.

The records seized from the gun houses can now provide leads on the customers who have purchased these weapons,” a senior Udaipur police official said.

Raids were conducted last week in gun houses in Jaipur and Sikar by the Special Task Force (STF) from Udaipur and it was found that in many cases “licence holders” have purchased multiple guns and cartridges.

A number of residents from Udaipur were said to have been involved in the gun-licence and arms purchase racket.

This had led police set up a Special Task Force (STF) to deal with the menace in this township, where otherwise tourism and hospitality industry are chief sources of income.

“The reports are being analysed….It is now suspected that many arms and ammunition have reached anti-social elements in Rajasthan and also some in other neighbouring states. As a result, a detailed report is being sent to police headquarters in Jaipur for further follow up,” the source said.

“What is of more concern is that a number of suspects involved in the racket in Udaipur and adjoining areas are from middle class and upper class sections.

Most are also white collared job holders like Chartered Accountants,” a civil official in the district collectorate said. Illegal gun licence menace in Rajasthan is nothing new.

In fact, in September this year, the Rajasthan Anti-Terror Squad in Jaipur had claimed to have “busted” an inter-state illegal arms license syndicate following the arrest of kingpin of the racket from Ajmer.

Two other members of the syndicate were also picked up. Police sources say that the syndicate was operational in at least four states. In last month’s actions, Rajasthan police have also seized around 150 illegal arms licenses from the accused.

One prime accused Zuber Khan was alleged to have been involved in a “well drawn out syndicate” where backdated gun licences used to be supplied to individuals for payment of Rs 3-4 lakh.

The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) sleuths of Rajasthan Police have probed the racket in Dewas in Madhya Pradesh too and it was found that one local ‘Gun Company’ had supplied guns and cartridges to the kingpin Zuber Khan.

One Ajmer-based businessman and a director in a liquor company was also arrested.

The Rajasthan police had also seized nearly 100 forged arms licences and 100 more recovered by them were put under scanner for further probe.

Incidentally, militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir is the second state on the top of the list only after the country’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh where respective district administrations have issued more than 3 lakh gun licenses.

The figures of more than 3 lakh gun licence in J&K is quite stunning as Jammu and Kashmir militancy infested and 20th in terms of population in the country.

The figures suggest with a population of 1.25 crore, now for every 33 persons, there is a gun license in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Most of the fake licences that surfaced in Udaipur probe came from states like Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland,” a police official said, adding that there were alleged involvement of elements in states like Punjab, Madhya Pradesh as well besides Rajasthan.

About 55 licences have been seized from Zuber’s possession and 50 others from an operator who generally worked based in Punjab.

Police sources in Udaipur say fake gun license issue came into focus around 2014 when huge cache of arms and ‘fake gun licences’ was discovered.

“It also had come to light that the menace has spread to many other places like Alwar, Bikaner and Nagor,” the source said. Police said firearms procured and purchased from such sources were being abundantly supplied to organised gangs and history-sheeters.

“Detailed probe is required as these also land in the hands of terrorists” Fake gun licence menace have in the past proved a major source of trouble in northeastern states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. According to police departments in Assam and Nagaland, the arms and ammunition procured by using these fake licences had become a threat to public safety and a major concern for security forces in the region.

Fraudulent arms licences have few years back procured from Kangpokpi in Manipur and Dimapur in Nagaland and at one point, the Manipur government took cognisance of complaints from Assam police and had cancelled several gun licenses too.

The refrain of police officials in north east has been: If anybody commits a crime with a firearm procured through fake licenses, police could not easily track such individuals”.

In number of cases, arms licenses with “all-India validity but incomplete addresses” were recovered by law enforcing agencies.