Srinagar, Mar 8: Ahead of the upcoming polls, the J&K Home Department has directed the district development commissioners not to issue any fresh arms licenses and submit all gun license details since 2012.
These directives as per a government order have been issued to ensure “maintenance of law and order” in the state before the polls.
Principal Secretary Home, Shaleen Kabra, in the order said that Home Department has received reports from various agencies particularly CID of J&K Police and Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India regarding “indiscriminate issuance” of arms licenses within the Jammu and Kashmir.
“No individual fresh license shall be issued by the district magistrate. The district magistrates shall take urgent steps to revoke all such individual arms licenses issued to various persons (excluding the personnel belonging to the state police, Army and CAPFs), consequent to the notification of Arms Rules, 2016. Further, the district magistrate shall direct all such persons, whose license is revoked, to deposit any arms or ammunition, with the officer IIC of the nearest police station,” the order reads.
It says that the matter related to the issuance of arms licenses in Jammu and Kashmir also came up for discussion during a meeting with the team of Election Commission of India that earlier this week visited the state in context of ensuing the elections.
“The district magistrates shall furnish the details of the individual arms licenses issued by their offices for the period 2012 upto 12.07.2018. The concerned SSP/SP shall conduct an intensive verification of those licenses and ensure adherence to ECI instructions regarding deposition of the licensed weapons,” the order says.
The order also says that concerned SSP/SP shall, also, in respect of those state subjects who belong to other districts if J&K, immediately take up the matter with the SSP / SP if the domicile district if the licensee for the purpose if verification of license and adherence to ECI instructions regarding deposition if the licensed weapons.
Last year, Jammu and Kashmir government also ordered an inquiry by the State Vigilance Organisation into large scale issuance of individual arms licenses in alleged contravention of rules.
The home department had issued the order following reports of alleged fake gun license racket operating in the state.
Besides directing the State Vigilance Organisation to probe into the matter, the government had ordered the divisional commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu regions to verify all cases of individual new arms licenses issued between 1 January, 2017, to 23 February, 2018.