Gun license scam: Vigilance zeros-in on many Dy Commissioners

Gun license scam: Vigilance zeros-in on many Dy Commissioners
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Nearly 70 officers under radar for involvement in graft cases

Srinagar, Sep 6: Even as the State government is awaiting nod for CBI for taking over the inquiry of the infamous ‘Gun Licenses’ Scandal, Vigilance organisation has zeroed in, on nearly seventy of officers including many Deputy Commissioners and Additional Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir government for their alleged links to the scam and other corruption charges.
Well placed sources in the establishment said that the anti -graft watchdog has collected data from various districts including Srinagar, Rajouri, Baramulla, Kupwara, Udampur and many other districts to investigate the role of officers and officials in the multi crore scam.
If sources are to be believed nearly twenty thousand licenses have been issued in Kupwara district only. Sources maintained that the laid down procedure has been violated in issuing the licenses possibly in league with the gun manufacturing companies.
Primarily the investigation was ordered for two districts including Kupwara and Udampur, however, as the investigation progressed, links to more districts were discovered following which the investigation was extended to many other districts also. The Vigilance organisation is understood to have collected data from Rajouri, Baramulla, Srinagar, Budgam , Pulwama and other districts where instances of issuing the licenses by violating the procedure have come to fore.
Even Additional Deputy Commissioners who are in no way authorized to issue the licenses have been found to have issued the same in contrary to their mandate. Sources who are privy to the investigation said that in some districts Additional Deputy Commissioners have also issued the licenses despite being not authorized to do so.
The previous government had decided to handover the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and had formally written to the probe agency but their acceptance has not come as of now.
Sources said that the decision of handing over the case to CBI was taken as many senior bureaucrats were allegedly attempting to shield some deputy commissioners and officers involved in the scam.
The other reason for handing over the case to the central investigating agency was as per sources, that many IAS officers are allegedly involved in the scam and government wanted to keep the investigation out of any possible hurdles.
However according to sources soon after the fall of the PDP-BJP government, the bureaucratic lobby has again gone active and has revived its efforts to stall the investigations.
Meanwhile, people have urged Governor Administration to pursue the investigations so that the big fishes are caught by collar and punished accordingly. They added that punishment should not be for the lower rung officers and officials only but the senior and influential tainted officers who are involved in murky deals should be also dealt seriously. (KNS)