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J&K gave 27k arms licences in one year

Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar, Nov 9, 2013, DHNS:

In 2012, state received 28,680 applications

Paramilitary soldiers pay their respects during a wreath laying ceremony for their colleagues inside their base camp on the outskirts of Srinagar.  AP

At a time when the government is reluctant to revoke Disturbed Areas Act (DDA) from the state, the Jammu and Kashmir government has issued more than 27,000 arms licence to civilians in the last one year.

Sources told Deccan Herald that district magistrates across the state received 28,680 application forms for issuance of arms licences in the last one year. “Of these 844 applications were not initiated for varied reasons while as 143 applications are still pending with district magistrates. The remaining 27,693 applications were cleared,” they said.

Official records reveal that out of 28,680 applications, 12,156 were received by the Jammu district magistrate, 2,535 in Udhampur, 334 in Kathua, 466 in Samba, 95 in Reasi, 18 in Doda, 169 in Poonch, 1827 in Ramban, 751 in Rajouri (Jammu region), 1,332 in Srinagar, 120 in Anantnag, 23 in Bandipora, 1,306 in Baramulla, 1,463 in Budgam, 63 in Ganderbal, 85 in Kulgam, 259 in Kupwara, 147 in Pulwama, 355 in Shopian (Kashmir region), 800 in Kargil and 11 in Leh (Ladakh region).

In the communally sensitive Kishtwar district of Jammu, the sources said the figure is disputed because of discrepancies which are under examination to ascertain the genuineness of licences. A total of 4,365 licences having validity all over the country were issued by the State home department during this period, they said.

A senior officer said though the Union Home Ministry had in April 2010 issued directions to all states across the country for maintenance of comprehensive database of all the arms licences issued yet no serious step was initiated in Jammu and Kashmir to lay thrust on the online arms licences processing and monitoring system.

“In 2012, the state home department issued circular to district magistrates for streamlining the procedures and matter related to issuance of arms licences but slackness continued to prevail particularly with regard to online arms licenses processing and monitoring system despite the fact that the same was imperative,” he added.

This compelled the state home department to again issue circular in January this year reiterating guidelines and instructions for strict compliance by all the concerned, he said adding that till date information related to a total of 5,613 arms licences has been processed as per the online processing and monitoring system.

The directions of the principal secretary, home department, and district magistrates are required to implement the web based centralized system designed and developed by National Informatics Centre for issuance, renewal etc.


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