Extend the probe into gun licenses issued upto 2018: Harsh

JAMMU, Jan 24: Seeking the extension of ongoing CBI probe into armed licenses scam upto the year 2018, a strong contingent of NPP activists led by Harsh Dev Singh, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, held a protest at CBI HQs, here on Friday.
Raising slogans against the govt for shielding corrupt officers and politicians involved in the said scam after 2016, the protestors submitted a memorandum to Director CBI through the Regional Office Jammu.
Hailing the ongoing CBI probe into the indiscriminate issuance of arms licenses issued by District Magistrates in the state of J&K, Harsh said that the said probe must extend to all such licenses issued upto December 31, 2018.
He argued said that the probe would lose its meaning and relevance if it was confined to issuance of such licenses between January 2012 and Dec 2016.
Has the govt granted immunity to those who issued such licenses prior to 2012 and after 2016, questioned Singh.
Claiming that maximum gun licenses had been issued during 2016-18 for extraneous considerations by throwing all norms to winds, Singh said that exclusion of the aforesaid period from the enquiry schedule would render the entire exercise futile.
He said between 2016 and 2017, several thousands of arms licenses had been issued in District Udhampur alone in brazen circumvention of stipulated criteria and norms, without police verifications and without satisfying the procedural requirements thereby jeopardizing the security of state and the nation.
Lamenting that with J&K already having earned the most dubious notoriety in the past of being the second most corrupt state in the country as per the reckoning of Transparency International, the arms licenses scandal involving several high ups had fully exposed it and surely catapulted it as the most corrupt state.
He said that involvement of bigwigs in the arms racket had completely busted the myths of good governance and exposed the burgeoning culture of corruption at top levels of administration.
Emphasising the need for catching the big fish with an exemplary punishment to the corrupt helmsmen, Singh said that it alone could serve as deterrent and help cleansing of the system which must always start from the top. He regretted that SVO now re-christened as ACB had also lodged FIRs but nothing had been done till date and none made accountable.
Likewise ATS and SOG had also claimed to have busted the arms racket but nothing tangible happened due to the influence wielded by the corrupt officers in state administration.
He said that CBI alone could punish the delinquent officers and for the said purpose a detailed probe into all such fake licenses issued beyond 2016 was a pre-requisite. He said there could no justification in allowing immunity to those erring officers and District Magistrates who had issued fake licenses after 2016.
He said that it was not merely a case of corruption at top levels but the very security of state and the nation had been threatened.
Not only millions had been minted by these unscrupulous officers by defying law of land but the very safety and security of nation has been compromised, asserted Singh.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Rajesh Padgotra, Gagan Partap, Parshotam Parihar, Surinder Chouhan, Khajoor Singh, Neeraj Gupta, Brij Bhushan, Onkar Singh, Rashpaul Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Romi Sharma, Kulbhushan Attri, Nirmal Kishore, Pawandeep Singh, Amandeep Singh and Rakesh Verma.

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