March 2018 News

Union Home Ministry Probing Allegations Of Bribery In Issuance Of Arms Licences In Jammu And Kashmir

26 March 2018
The New Indian Express
Rakesh K Singh

New Delhi: Union Home Ministry has initiated a probe to look into allegations of irregularities including bribery in issuance of arms licences across Jammu and Kashmir. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has forwarded a complaint from Youth Voice of Jammu and Kashmir to the Jammu and Kashmir Division of the Ministry to probe the allegations. The Youth Voice of Jammu and Kashmir, a voluntary organisation, had in a letter to Union Home Minister earlier this month underscored the need to urgently enquire into the matter of illegal practice prevalent in every district headquarter of the State of issuing arms licences in lieu of bribe. The letter has also highlighted that the alleged corruption is so rampant that the touts even collect huge sums of money even from Army and paramilitary personnel who approach the district administration for obtaining personal arms licences. According to the complaint, the touts charge as much as Rs 30,000 for every such arms licence issued. The touts, as per the complaint, have access to the staffers of the office of the District Collectors. The outfit further stated that a serious threat has emerged not only to the State but also to the nation as a whole due to such arms licences being issued against bribes. The outfit has also highlighted the need for bringing in transparency in administration. 'The youth of Jammu and Kashmir is far away from job opportunity in spite having talent in respective fields. That as when we try to channelize our energy ahead, we face obstruction on the path of not only higher but also from District as well as Block level administration, reads the letter. 'In view of the seriousness of the allegations, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has marked the complaint from Youth Voice of Jammu and Kashmir to the Kashmir Division and an enquiry is underway to ascertain the allegations and take further necessary action,' a Home Ministry official said. Two top IPS officers-the then Director General of Police K Rajendra and the then DG of CRPF K Durga Prasad had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the closed-door DGPs-IGPs Conference (held from November 25-27, 2016), that there was 'large scale corruption in the State (Jammu and Kashmir) Government particularly in implementation of developmental projects' and 'bad governance and corruption in the Valley' respectively.