J&K arms licence case: CBI raids 40 locations, including 2 IAS officers’ homes (3rd Ld)

Launching a swift action, multiple teams of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday carried out searches at 40 locations, including the residential premises of 2 IAS officers, in Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi in connection with its probe into an alleged illegal arms licence case.

A CBI spokesperson in Delhi said that the agency is conducting searches at around 40 locations in Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla and Delhi, including the official and residential premises of certain then public servants (including IAS, KAS officers, then DM, then ADM etc).

The official said that it is also carrying out searches at around 20 gun houses or dealers as part of its ongoing investigation into a case related to an arms licence racket.

Another CBI official said that the searches began early on Saturday morning.

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

The CBI had registered two cases on the request of J&K government and further orders from the Central government and had taken over the investigation of two FIRs on May 17, 2018 on the allegations of bulk issuance of arms licence in the erstwhile state of J&K during the period between 2012 and 2016. It was alleged that more than 2.78 lakh arms licences were issued to non-entitled persons.

The CBI also collected documents pertaining to the issuance of the said armed licences, allegedly spread over 22 districts of J&K.

The official said that during investigation and scrutiny of documents, the role of certain gun dealers was found, who in connivance with the public servants, including the then DMs and ADMs of the concerned districts, had allegedly issued such illegal arms licences to the ineligible persons.

He said that it was also alleged that the persons who got these licences were not residents of the places from where the said arms licences were issued.