Srinagar, Mar 2: Two former District Magistrates (DMs) of Kupwara, who were arrested on Sunday in the arms license case, have been remanded to 10 day police custody by the special judge of CBI cases in Srinagar.
Kumar Rajiv Ranjan and Itrit Hussain Rafiqui, both former DMs of Kupwara district, were arrested for issuing gun licenses “fraudulently and illegally in lieu of monetary consideration” during their respective tenures.
While Ranjan was in office from 2013-2015, Itrit held the post from 2015 to 2016.
“The Special Judge CBI Cases, Srinagar has today remanded the then two District Magistrates, Kupwara ten days Police Custody in a case related to irregularities in issuance of arms licenses. Both the accused were arrested by CBI in an on-going investigation of the said case,” a CBI spokesperson said.
CBI had registered a case on the consent of J&K Government and further Notification from the Centre and taken over the investigation of FIR number 18 of 2018 (dated 17.05.2018), earlier registered at Police Station Vigilance Organisation Kashmir.
The allegations in the case, as per the CBI spokesperson, were that during the period 2012 to 2016, the Deputy Commissioners of various districts of J&K, including District Kupwara had fraudulently and illegally issued bulk arms licenses in lieu of monetary consideration.
“During investigation to unearth the deep rooted conspiracy in issuance of illegal arms licenses, CBI has arrested a private person on February 24 on the allegations of working as conduit of gun dealers and officials of various districts of the then State of J&K and also indulged in various financial transactions with other co-accused persons, including public servants,” the spokesperson said.
The arrested person is in CBI custody till March 5.
“During further investigation, the alleged role of both the then District Magistrates, Kupwara surfaced during their tenure as District Magistrate, Kupwara (J&K). Investigation is continuing,” the spokesperson added.
The roots of this massive scam go as back as 2012 when it first came to the fore.
Between 2009 and 2013, the Jammu and Kashmir government had issued over 92000 gun licenses, 40587 of which were alone issued in 2011 and 2012.
Overall, the case involves issuance of over two lakh arms licenses in eight districts of the erstwhile state.
Figures reported in media show that 1.32 lakh of the 1.43 lakh licenses in Jammu region’s Doda, Ramban and Udhampur districts were issued to those residing outside the Union Territory.
The figure for the entire Union Territory is 4,29,301, of which just 10 per cent were issued to residents of the erstwhile State.