Hailing the CBI probe into the indiscriminate issuance of arms licenses by District Magistrates in the state of J&K, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and former Minister today 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 2017-18 in District Udhampur for extraneous considerations by throwing all norms to winds, Mr. Singh said that exclusion of the said period from the enquiry schedule would render the entire exercise futile. He said between May 2016 to September 2017, more than 10, 000 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 on simple pieces of paper.
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 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, Mr. 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 prior to 2012 and 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 jeopardized. 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.