SRINAGAR: Kerala Police have arrested 18 private security guards, all hailing from Rajouri district of Jammu region, from Kalamassery area of Kochi for possessing guns without licenses, reported Daily Excelsior.
During searches at their rented places, Kerala Police have so far recovered 19 double-barreled guns and around 100 rounds of ammunition.
While five security guards were arrested on September 5, 13 others were nabbed today, reports said.
Most of the arrested youth were working as security guards at the ATMs, reports said, adding that they had been outsourced to a company in Kerala by Aurangabad (Maharashtra) based company which is engaged in providing security guards to various concerns including banks, ATMs etc.
Five Rajouri youth, who were arrested by Kerala Police the other day, from their residence near Neeramankara, were identified as Mushtaq Hussain, Mohammed Javed, Gulsaman, Shukoor Ahmed and Shoukat Ali.
However, identity of 13 youths nabbed today is yet to be ascertained.
They are believed to have arrived in Kerala between one year and six months back through the recruiting agency.
The police had initially investigated the men on the basis of an anonymous complaint that they had declined to surrender the guns during the Assembly elections, newspaper Daily Excelsior quoted sources as having said.
Subsequently, the police had contacted the Additional District Magistrate, Rajouri district and the Station House Officer, Kandi (Rajouri), on August 13, seeking information about the men and the arms licences.
“The men were arrested after Kerala Police received a report from the ADM stating that the men did not possess valid permits,” sources said.
The police and the Intelligence Bureau interrogated the men today and they are further likely to be questioned by the Military Intelligence tomorrow.
Kerala Police was also investigating whether more people are involved in the racket.
A case has been registered in this connection.
It may be mentioned here that a major fake gun license racket had surfaced in Jammu and Kashmir couple of years back with roots in Rajasthan. Several officers were stated to be involved. The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has twice conducted raids in the racket in Jammu and Kashmir, reported Daily Excelsior.