July 2018 News

Large Sums Of Money Involved : Agents Honey Trapped, Blackmailed IAS Officer For Gun Licenses

19 July 2018
Kashmir Monitor

Srinagar: Investigation into fake gun license racket in Udhampur has revealed sensational details about the involvement of the district's former Deputy Commissioner Niraj Kumar in the scam. As per sources, the state government has already registered an anti-corruption case against the IAS officer as more skeletons continue to tumble out of the closet. Highly placed sources say that the IAS officer, with the local gun mafia and touts, violated all norms related to the gun licensing criteria. As per law, the DM is the nodal officer for issuing gun licenses, but only after due diligence by police. Sources said the investigation, carried out by Anti- Terror Squad (ATS) of Rajasthan Police, has revealed that the former Deputy Commissioner had relaxed the norms for issuing the gun license to the agents. Instead of working on the licensing process in the office the accused IAS officer had prepared the list for issuing these licenses 'illegally' at his official residence. As per investigators, all the paper work including the signing off on the final license was done away with from the DC's office. Investigators also believe that a huge amount of money had also exchanged hands between the agents, senior government officials over issuance of these licenses. Sources say that once the IAS officer got a whiff of the impending scandal, he started resisting the request of those whom he was in league with for issuing these 'illegal licenses'. 'It is quite possible that the accused officer was honey trapped by touts and then blackmailed further to issue more licenses. We are also probing the possibility of involvement of some police officials in this scam,' a police officer told The Kashmir Monitor. Last year objectionable pictures of Niraj Kumar, the then-Deputy Commissioner Udhampur, with women in a hotel room had gone viral. The government had then swung into action and attached Niraj to the office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu. Sources said the DC violated all the norms and even asked his subordinates to keep the matter hidden. 'Acquiring a gun license is too hectic as it follows various levels of verifications. But in this case the Deputy Commissioner who is a nodal officer for issuing gun license made it confined to just few steps by cutting down the verification part,' sources said. As per the sources, the agents would forge the documents of a person to show him as an army official to avoid verifications. 'Army and military personnel can get arms licenses from any district they are posted in, on the recommendation of a letter from the Commanding Officer of their unit. These documents were then approved at official levels,' they said. Last year Rajasthan police busted a racket in which fake gun license racket from Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir were being abundantly used to 'purchase' arms from gun houses in many parts of Rajasthan, including Udaipur, Sikar and Jaipur, police said. Around 40 licenses from Dimapur in Nagaland - suspected to be fake- were used to purchase guns from gun houses in Jaipur alone. When contacted Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department (GAD), Hilal Ahmad Parray said that they haven't received any sort of communication related to issue yet. 'Let me see and confirm it. But so far we have not been informed by any agency yet,' Parray said.