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Gun Licence Scam: CBI raids 40 locations, including 2 IAS officers' home in J&K

Gun Licence Scam: CBI raids 40 locations, including 2 IAS officers home in J&K
New Delhi/Srinagar: Multiple teams of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday carried out searches at 40 locations, including residential premises of 2 IAS officials, in Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi in connection with its probe into alleged illegal arms license case.

The agency is conducting searches at around 40 locations including at Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla, Delhi at the official and residential premises of then public servants (including IAS Officers), reports IANS quoting a CBI spokesperson in Delhi.

The official said that around 20 gun houses are also being searched. The report quoted another CBI official who said that searches began early morning on Saturday.

An agency source revealed that the CBI is carrying out searches at premises of former Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, and another IAS official Neeraj Kumar, among others.

Mr Choudhury is currently Secretary (Tribal Affairs) and CEO Mission Youth, J&K. He previously served as the Deputy Commissioner of Kathua, Reasi, Rajouri and Udhampur districts, during which time he allegedly issued thousands of licenses - under fake names - to people in other states and UTs.

At least eight former Deputy Commissioners are being investigated by the central agency.

The CBI had registered a case on the consent of the Jammu and Kashmir government and further notification from the central government in 2018 and taken over probe from the state police that during the period 2012 to 2016, the district magistrates of various districts of J&K, including Kupwara had fraudulently and illegally issued bulk arms licenses in lieu of monetary consideration.

Since 2012 over two lakh gun licenses have been issued illegally from J&K, reports NDTV. According to the report, this is India's biggest gun license racket.

Last year two officials, including IAS officer Rajiv Ranjan, were arrested by the CBI. Mr Ranjan and Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, during their tenures as Deputy Commissioner of Kupwara district, allegedly illegally issued several such licences.

In February last year, the agency arrested a private individual who was "involved in various financial transactions with other co-accused, including public servants".

The CBI has previously said it has unearthed a "deep-rooted conspiracy" in this matter.

The scam was first discovered by Rajasthan's Anti-Terror Squad in 2017 when they arrested Mr Ranjan's brother and others working as middlemen for gun dealers.

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TAGS:Gun Licence Scam CBI raid 
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