CBI raids homes, offices of IAS and KAS officers in 2018 arms licence case
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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation Monday carried out searches at 13 locations across Srinagar, Jammu, Gurgaon and Noida — including at the premises of IAS and Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) officers — in a 2018 case of corruption.
The case relates to the illegal issuance of 2 lakh arms licences between 2012 and 2016 to non-residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The raids were conducted at the offices and residences of then District Collectors and District Magistrates of Kupwara, Baramulla, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Shopian, Rajouri, Doda and Pulwama.
According to the 2018 FIR, two IAS officers — Rajeev Ranjan (2010 batch), the then Kupwara district collector, and Yasha Mudgil (2007 batch), the then DM of Baramulla and Udhampur — as well as six KAS officers “conspired to issue the Arms Licences to the non-residents of J&K in violation of rules after receiving gratification”.
The six KAS officers are Itrat Hussian, a former DM of Kupwara, Salim Mohammed, a former DM of Kishtwar, Mohammed Javed Khan, a former DM of Kishtwar and Shopian, F.C. Bhagat, a former Rajouri DM, Farooq Ahmed Khan, former DM of Doda, and Jehangir Ahmed Mir, a former DM of Pulwama.
‘Flouted norms, put country’s security at risk’
In 2017, inputs were received from the CID of J&K Police on the issuance of a large number of individual arms licences, following which an enquiry was initiated by the then financial commissioner. The state home department was told to “fix responsibility for the lapses” and file a report.
The report took longer than expected and, meanwhile, a communication, along with a report of a security agency with regard to “indiscriminate issue of gun licences in J&K”, also came from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The security agency in its report had stated that an abnormal number of gun licences were being issued in Kupwara by officials posted in the officers of the DM. The report said the procedures to issue these licences were flouted and there was an involvement of a Jammu-based arms dealer who allegedly acted in collusion with officials in the DC’s office.
The report also said the issuance of these licences could have internal security ramifications.
The illegal issuance of the arms licences was also pointed out by the Rajasthan Police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Special Operations Group (SOG), which had stumbled upon it while investigating another case.
“The report by the security agency, reinforced the report of the CID and the claims of the ATS, Rajasthan, regarding the illegal issuance of these licences and the involvement of public servants,” a CBI official said.
“Further, based on details generated from the National Database for Arms Licenses (NDAL) portal for period between 2017 and 2018, the home department also took suo motu cognisance of the matter and the divisional commissioner was asked to look into it,” he added.
First effective raids since 2018
A formal FIR in the matter was registered only after the state’s home department communicated that a thorough investigation in the matter be carried out.
Although the case was filed in October 2018, no organised raids were carried out. According to a source in the CBI, a few raids were conducted in July 2019, but the investigation in the case was moving at a snail’s pace.
These raids at 13 locations are CBI’s first big operation after acquiring original jurisdiction to act against corruption after the reorganisation of the state, following the scrapping of Article 370 on 5 August.