CBI raids 40 locations in the J&K gun license scam
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today raided 40 locations across Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi in connection with a gun license scam, reports say. A raid was also carried out at the residence of senior J&K IAS officer Shahid Iqbal Choudhary in Srinagar in this case. Other raids took place at locations in Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, and Baramulla areas of the erstwhile state.
8 former Deputy Commissioners under investigation
Choudhury currently serves as the Secretary (Tribal Affairs Department) and the CEO of Mission Youth in J&K. He has previously served as the Deputy Commissioner of Kathua, Reasi, Rajouri, and Udhampur districts. During that time, he was allegedly involved in the issuance of fake arms licenses. At least eight former Deputy Commissioners are being probed by the CBI, according to NDTV.
Around 20 gun houses also searched: CBI spokesperson
"The search operation is spread across Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla, and Delhi at the official and residential premises of public servants, including IAS officers, around 20 gun houses, among others, in an ongoing investigation," a CBI spokesperson said, according to news agency PTI.
Here are visuals from the raids
Jammu and Kashmir: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raid is underway at govt quarters in Tulsi Bagh area of Srinagar city in connection with arms/gun licence scam. Details awaited.— ANI (@ANI) July 24, 2021
Visuals from the spot. pic.twitter.com/x5PcfuV7Ul
What is the J&K gun license scam?
Between 2012 and 2016, over two lakh bogus or illegal gun licenses were allegedly issued from Jammu and Kashmir. Those allegations make it India's biggest gun license racket. The scam was first unearthed by Rajasthan's Anti-Terror Squad in 2017 and later handed over to the CBI by former Governor NN Vohra. The central agency had registered a case based on these allegations in 2019.
CBI had arrested two officials last year
CBI alleges several former and current public servants had issued illegal arms licenses across states. Last year, two officials, including IAS officer Rajiv Ranjan, were arrested on allegations of issuing such licenses while serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Kupwara district. A private individual was also arrested by the agency last February. Allegedly, over 3,000 licenses were granted in the name of Army personnel.