India’s federal probe agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched an inquiry after a person who forged documents to obtain gun licenses in Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested in central Madhya Pradesh in 2017,
The CBI conducted raids at 13 locations of residential premises of officers belonging to the elite Indian Administrative Services (IAS) from Jammu and Kashmir, who were working as Divisional Commissioners or District Magistrates of the state.
“The searches were carried out at different cities of Jammu and Kashmir and the national capital region (Delhi),” an official of CBI said.
According to the agency officials, the racket reveals a deep-rooted nexus between bureaucrats and arm suppliers in the country as it further connects with the organised crime syndicates.
Explaining the modus, the official said one needs to produce a forged letter as if it were from a commanding officer of an army unit. Then get your photo-shopped picture to appear wearing an army uniform, pay up in millions of rupees and you could get an arms license in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The State (Gun) License Authority of Jammu and Kashmir had issued backdated licenses to escape the investigations, especially after the online scrutiny that began after the year 2008. Because of this, gun licences acquired in J&K have been allowing owners to purchase weapons in other Indian states as well,” the agency official explained.
He also said the government functionaries had hatched conspiracies to issue licenses to persons who are not ordinarily residents of Jammu and Kashmir in violation of the rules, for alleged gratification.
The gun licenses were issued at the time when Kashmir was at unrest in which over 200 people were killed in riots.
The restive Jammu and Kashmir region, which was stripped of its special status in early August, was made into two federally administered territories. The new administration had launched a series of investigations to unearth corruption in government, which was one of the main charges against the political leadership of the state.