Fake Firearm Licences Come From J&K
6 June 2007
The Times of India
Ahmedabad: More than 30,000 fake gun licences have been introduced into the national circuit from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). A team of city crime branch sleuths recently went to J&K and unearthed some startling facts about the nation-wide fake gun licence racket. Crime branch officials said racket was mainly rooted in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland and J&K. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Ashish Bhatia said, 'About 30,000 fake gun licences were issued from J&K between 1994 and 1998.' 'The miscreants routed these licences to many states in the country, including Gujarat. With the help of corrupt officials, the licences got legal status in the states to which the licence holders migrated,' said Bhatia. Sources revealed that investigations into the racket were handed over to the CBI in 1999- 2000. 'The CBI had sampled about 250 cases from the 30,000 fake licence cases and had conducted a thorough inquiry into them. An arms dealer of J&K, an officer of the rank of additional collector and a head clerk also figured among the accused booked by CBI,' said sources. 'In 2003, the city crime branch arrested a few security guards, exposing the nexus between the miscreants and the officials working in the licence branch,' said deputy commissioner of police Manoj Shashidhar. The recent visit of crime branch sleuths to J&K revealed yet another fact: an arms dealer in Ahmedabad, Om Prakash Gupta had links with another such dealer, Paramjeet Singh Kartar, based in Haryana. 'They worked hand in glove with another arms dealer in J&K, Vinay Verma. Blank gun licence forms were filled up at Verma's house. Three days later, the forms would reach the office of the licensing authorities in J&K,' said a source. A few licence holders sneaked into Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and started working as guards in security agencies. This development comes in the backdrop of another fake gun licence racket busted by the crime branch, in which, private security guards were caught using fake licences. Bhatia said, 'This time, the base was in Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh. Narendra Chauhan, who is the kingpin of the racket, is still at large.'