The gun license scam was first unearthed by Rajasthan's Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in 2017, when they arrested Rajiv Ranjan's brother and others working as middlemen for gun dealers. (Image: ANI)
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at 22 locations in Srinagar on July 24, including the residence of senior Jammu and Kashmir IAS officer Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, in connection with the illegal issuance of about 2 lakh gun/arms licenses in the erstwhile state of J&K.
Shahid Iqbal Choudhary is currently serving as Secretary (Tribal Affairs) and CEO of Mission Youth in Jammu and Kashmir, reported NDTV.
Earlier, he served as the Deputy Commissioner of Kathua, Reasi, Rajouri, and Udhampur districts. During this period, he allegedly issued thousands of licenses to people in other states and union territories under fake names, said the report.
According to the report, over two lakh gun licenses have been issued illegally from Jammu and Kashmir since 2012.
So far, at least eight former deputy commissioners are being investigated by the central agency in connection with the case, reported NDTV.
In 2020, two officials -- IAS officer Rajiv Ranjan and Itrat Hussain Rafiqui -- were arrested by the CBI. They allegedly illegally issued several such licences during their tenures as Deputy Commissioner of Kupwara district, the report stated.
In February 2020, the CBI also arrested a private individual who was "involved in various financial transactions with other co-accused, including public servants", it said.
The case was first unearthed by Rajasthan's Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in 2017, when they arrested Ranjan's brother and others working as middlemen for gun dealers.
The case was transferred to the CBI on a strong recommendation of Director General of Rajasthan Police OP Galhotra who had written to Jammu and Kashmir's home department suggesting "transfer of the case" to the central agency without any further delay, reported news agency PTI.
He had said the case pertains to the issuance of arms licenses in a "fraudulent manner by various authorities in Jammu and Kashmir".
According to the Rajasthan ATS probe involvement of some IAS officers of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre in the issuance of arms licences on forged documents.