New Delhi, July 11: After a series of raids in Jammu and adjoining districts, the sleuths of Central Bureau of Investigation are close to laying their hands on the biggest gun-running racket emerging from the state. The racket unravels a deep-rooted nexus between bureaucrats and arms dealers in Jammu and Kashmir, and further connects with the organised crime syndicates.
Trunks full of incriminating documents, ledgers, hard disks and files recovered from gun dealers and various government premises in Jammu and Udhampur reveal that norms were thrown to the wind by district magistrates while granting licences in bulk. The receipts and sale records found from over four gun dealers also point out that arm licences were issued in a very large quantity.
A confidential report of Jammu and Kashmir Home Department (AR/151/2017) dated July 2018 reveals: “Dy Commissioners of various districts particularly DC Kupwara and DC Udhampur have issued gun licences which run in thousands. It is also reflected in the report that authorities of districts are involved in malpractices in issuance of arms licences in lieu of monetary consideration.”
CBI sources said the role of various senior officials, including that of IAS officers, is being probed in connection with serious irregularities committed while granting bulk gun licences.
The nexus between bureaucrats and gun-runners was unravelled when Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Rajasthan police informed the J&K government in 2017 that arm licences were issued to criminals by authorities in districts such as Jammu, Kupwara and Kathua. During the interrogation of the accused persons, the ATS discovered that government officials and licensed arms dealers in J&K were involved.
“We are of the view that persons of criminal background, who by law cannot get arms licences, procured these gun licences or got them renewed. We are gathering evidence on end users,” said a CBI source.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also swung into action. The MHA accessed details from National Database for Arms Licences (NDAL) for the period 01.01.2017-23.08.2018 and found indiscriminate issuance of licence in various districts of J&K. Obviously, concerned from a security point of view (as the matter relates to J&K), an enquiry was also initiated in New Delhi. Later on the instructions of MHA, the state government ordered Divisional Commissioner (Jammu/Kashmir) to conduct a probe in various districts relating to arms licence racket.
The report of the Divisional Commissioner finally corroborated the ATS findings.
The J&K government then decided to order a CBI probe into the gun scandal. Sources in the CBI said that various documents are being scrutinized to identify persons who were issued gun licences. According to an official, once the criminal syndicates, which procured the gun licences are identified, the agency will also probe their links with inter-state gangs or militant outfits.
In this day and age! Five JK districts have NO blood banks
Srinagar, Jul 19: Five districts in Jammu and Kashmir do not have the facility of blood banks thus presenting the sorry state of basic health infrastructure in the state.
The information was Friday revealed by Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
The five districts – Bandipora, Ganderbal, Shopian, Samba, Reasi – share the poor record with 76 others in India.
As per Government of India policy, each district has to have at least one blood bank.
“Public Health, being a State subject, it is the primary responsibility of the State Government to ensure the establishment of Blood Banks as per their need,” the Minister said in his reply.
Lack of blood banks can be the deciding factor between a person’s life and death especially in J&K, which witnesses freak road accidents now and then killing more people in the state than the political conflict.
Such is the paucity of blood that the attendants of patients admitted at tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar have to, at times, resort to crowd-sourcing asking people to donate blood at the eleventh hour.
Like J&K, Meghalaya and Bihar too don’t have blood banks in at least five districts, followed by Telangana, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand respectively, wherein there are no blood banks in four districts each.
The northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh tops the list with 14 districts of not having blood banks. This was followed by Manipur wherein 12 districts, and Nagaland wherein nine districts do not have blood banks.
A total of 3,108 licensed blood banks are established in the country, with Maharashtra being on top with 333 blood banks, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 327 blood banks in the state.
In Gujarat, there are 153 blood banks and the national capital Delhi has 60 blood banks.
Cop guarding Mehbooba’s kin shot dead
Srinagar, Jul 19: Unidentified gunmen Friday afternoon shot dead a Personal Security Officer (PSO) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and Mehbooba Mufti’s cousin brother Sajad Mufti outside the shrine in Baba Mohalla area of Bijbehara in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The slain cop was identified as Constable Farooq Ahmad of Dirpora Khiram. A police official said that he was attacked by militants at Ziyarat Baba Naseer-ud-din Gazi in Bijbehara during Friday prayers.
Farooq was standing guard outside the shrine when he was shot dead by the gunmen.
The former chief Minister’s cousin brother was offering prayers in Masjid at the shrine when his PSO was shot dead.
The cop was immediately rushed to the Sub District Hospital Bijbehara for treatment where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Reports said the gunmen also decamped with the service rifle of Ahmad.
Meanwhile, police paid tributes to the slain cop and expressed solidarity with his bereaved family. “We stand by his family at this critical juncture,” Kashmir Zone Police said in a tweet.
The wreath laying ceremony for the slain cop was held at District police Line (DPL) Anantnag.
Police officers led by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Swayam Prakash Pani laid floral wreaths on his mortal remains and paid tributes to the cop. (KNS)
Senior police officers including IGP Kashmir, SP Pani, DIG SKR, SSP Anantnag and other officers from CAPF laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the slain cop.
Farooq is survived by old aged father, brother, wife, 12 years old son Mohsin Farooq, seven year old Faisal and two year old Zaid Farooq.
“We pay our rich tributes to the martyr for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty. We stand by his family at this crucial juncture,” a police spokesperson said.
3 arrested for abusing minor girl inside Dal: Police
Srinagar, Jul 19: Police Friday said it has arrested three individuals involved in physically abusing a minor girl inside Dal Lake.
A police spokesperson said that police Station Nigeen received a complaint that a minor girl has been physically abused inside Dal Lake in Hazratbal area.
“Consequently Case FIR No. 65/2019 under relevant sections of law was registered in Police Station Nigeen and investigation was initiated,” the spokesperson said.
During the course of investigation, the spokesperson said, police arrested two persons identified as Tawheed Ahmad Mir son of Showkat Ahmad Mir and Ehsan-ul-haq son of Showkat Ahmad Yatoo both residents of Sadrabal.
However, the third accused managed to escape taking advantage of deep waters, police added.
“A special team under the supervision of SP Hazratbal arrested third person after strenuous efforts. He has been identified as Bilal Ahmad Dar alias Kila son of Ghulam Nabi Dar resident of Dargah. The prompt action of police and the arrest of all the three accused in the heinous crime within 24hrs was appreciated by the community members,” the spokesperson added.