CBI begins probe in Jammu and Kashmir arms licence case

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Srinagar:The CBI has begun investigation into a case of arms licences issued in Jammu and Kashmir between 2012 and 2016 on forged documents allegedly involving some IAS officers of the cadre, officials said Thursday.

The agency has registered two FIRs in this regard with the consent of Jammu and Kashmir government with the then DC of Kupwara listed as accused in one of them while unidentified officials of various districts have been mentioned in another, they said.

The Chanigarh unit of the CBI has registered the FIRs for alleged criminal misconduct and criminal conspiracy under the Ranbir Penal Code and violation of Section 3/25 of Arms Act besides provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case was transferred to the CBI on a strong recommendation of Director General of Rajasthan Police O P Galhotra who had written to Jammu and Kashmir’s home department suggesting “transfer of the case” to the central agency without any further delay, they said.

He had said the case pertains to the issuance of arms licenses in “fraudulent manner by various authorities in Jammu and Kashmir”.

According to the Rajasthan ATS probe involvement of some IAS officers of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre in issuance of arms licences on forged documents.

Around 4.29 lakh arms licences have been issued in the last one decade from various districts of the militancy-hit state, the ATS had estimated.

The case dates back to November last year when the Rajasthan Police’s ATS carried out an operation, code named “Jubaida”, and arrested 52 people for their alleged involvement in getting gun licences issued from various districts of Jammu and Kashmir under suspicious circumstances.

According to ATS officials, 1,32,321 of the 1,43,013 licences in Jammu region’s Doda, Ramban and Udhampur districts were issued to those residing outside the state.

The figure for the entire state is 4,29,301, of which just over 10 per cent were issued to residents in the state.

The brother of a senior IAS officer from Jammu and Kashmir was arrested by the ATS in Gurgaon in Haryana after it was alleged that he had received Rs 40 lakh from the arms lobby, they said.

The licences included 3,367 in the name of purported army personnel, the officials said.

Letters were written in this connection to the Army, Indian Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, seven para-military forces including the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Railway Protection Force(RPF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

While most of them have replied, a comprehensive response from the army was still awaited, notwithstanding the reminders, the officials said.