Jammu and Kashmir Home department on Saturday directed the divisional commissioners to verify all the cases of individual arms licenses and steps to revoke individual licenses by the DMs (except security personnel), while the districts magistrates were ordered not to issue fresh licenses.
The order states, “There have been a number of instances of unearthing of fake gun licensing gun rackets reported in media and under investigation through various investigating agencies particularly anti-terror squad and SOG of Rajasthan and Jaipur,” reads the government order dated July 12, number 922.
“It has been observed that the issues related to the grant of individual arms licenses in J&K have an implication on security and public peace, “the order states. “No fresh individual arms license should be issued by the district magistrates of J&K,” it added.
Citing reasons for rolling back the individual arms licenses issued under arms act 2016, the order reads: “There were inputs from CID of J&K police with regard to issuance of a very large number of individual arms licenses in certain districts of the state. Accordingly and enquiry was ordered by the home department on April 4, 2017, through K B Agarval financial commissioner to J&K government.”
“The district magistrates of J&K shall take urgent steps to revoke all such individual arms licenses issued to various persons excluding the persons belonging to the police, army and central forces,” the order reads.
The government order states that the ministry of Home affairs had also reported the indiscriminate issuance of arms licenses within the state with specific references to certain districts. “The Home department after taking the suo-moto cognizance based on data/details generated from the national database for arms licenses prima facie revealed indiscriminate issuance of arms licenses in some districts of the state from January 2017 to February 23, 2018,” the order states.
The home secretary R K Goyal has now directed the divisional commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu to verify all the cases of individual new arms licenses in districts that include Kishtwar, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Leh, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, and Udhampur and furnish details to the home department within a month.
Further, the government order reads that all district magistrates should ensure strict compliance with the provisions of arms rules 2016 at the stage of renewal of arms licenses.
It may be recalled that the inquiry report of Home department was forwarded to the State Vigilance Commission recently for a thorough probe. The SVC has already registered two separate cases and investigations are on.