December 5th, 2012

Charge sheet likely against 19 including SDM, 4 officials

JAMMU: Responding to the STATE TIMES report published under caption “File to accord prosecution sanction gathers dust; SDM, 4 officials among 19 involved,” the Home Department has finally accorded sanction to prosecute the accused.
Sources informed that the police is likely to charge-sheet the case in court within days. For the last over one year, the file has been awaiting attention of the government for granting sanction to prosecute the accused.
” Jammu police has been asked to prepare the Challan to charge-sheet the accused”, sources added.
The accused include former SDM Choudhary Mukhtiyar; Clerks Qasim Hussain, Yasir Qureshi, Tanveer Ahmed, orderly Punjab Singh; Agents Purshotam Singh, Chain Singh, Subash Chander, Ranjit Singh, Baldev Singh, Ajay Sharma, Gun factory owners, Manjit Singh of Singh Gun House, Harminder Singh, Suresh Armoury, Rahul Grover, Manager of Singh Gun House, Khem Raj, Ruksana Gun House, Kaka Khan and Chander Mohan.
Detected in 2011, the fake gun licence scam got exposed during a routine frisking at a Naka at Janipur when a beneficiary of the scam was apprehended. He led to unearthing of nexus wherein the beneficiaries were paying Rs 36,000 for a licence and a gun. All these licences were issued from the office of the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Mendhar without verifying the antecedents of the beneficiary. And, most of the beneficiaries got jobs of security guards in the metro cities especially in Mumbai. In a recent murder case in Mumbai, a valley based youth, working as security guard, reportedly beneficiary of the scam, was apprehended.
Later, three FIRs were registered at Janipur, Rajouri and Mendhar Police Stations as the accused had committed the crimes in Jammu besides their places of postings at Rajouri and Mendhar.
Consequently,  two more FIRs were registered in Rajouri and Mendhar against the officials and others involved. All the three FIRs were clubbed and the case was sent to the Home Department for accord of sanction to prosecute the officials including the SDM.
This is not an isolated gun licenses racket which has been exposed after arresting the ‘culprits’ but several instances of fake licences have taken place at different places from time to time and the officials and Magistrates responsible gone scot free, thus giving boost to this unscrupulous activity, said sources.
Recently, the government, in response to RTI application of Rajesh Gupta, admitted that the number of gun licenses issued in 2010 were far more than those issued during the past five years.
On the one hand, genuine license holders like ex-servicemen face difficulty in obtaining the licences, on the other those at the strength of money power manage fake licences with active connivance of some unscrupulous officials and agents, said the sources, adding that this has created a vicious circle.
“The rules are made tougher only to harass the law abiding citizens while the unlawful do what they like by hook or crook” said a local Army veteran-who was denied licences as he had not paid anything.
On the other hand, in Kathua, more than 4,000 fake gun licenses were reportedly issued. An inquiry was ordered but till date no action was initiated. Even the government had constituted a committee to probe the arms licenses and PRCs but no report has been submitted so far, according to official sources.
Sources informed that the inquiry committee had found that a large number of PRCs and gun licenses were issued without completing the formalities, adding that not only the people of the state but even the outsiders were given the gun licenses.

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