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Arms Licensing Racket: CBI Raids Baseer Ahmad Khan's Home Week After His Removal As LG Advisor

Khan, an IAS officer of the 2000 batch, served his last posting as the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, relieved from the post of advisor to Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha last week.

Arms Licensing Racket: CBI Raids Baseer Ahmad Khan's Home Week After His Removal As LG Advisor
CBI raids house of former advisor to J&K LG | PTI/File Photo
Arms Licensing Racket: CBI Raids Baseer Ahmad Khan's Home Week After His Removal As LG Advisor
outlookindia.com
2021-10-12T13:22:37+05:30

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday raided the residence of Baseer Ahmad Khan, former advisor to Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.  Khan had been relieved from the post of advisor on Wednesday last week by the J&K government.

 “Pursuant to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India communication, Baseer Ahmad Khan has been relieved from the post of advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect,” reads an order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD).

Khan, an IAS officer of the 2000 batch, served his last posting as the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir. After his retirement, he was promoted to the post of advisor to the Lt Governor. In his long tenure, Khan has also served as Deputy Commissioner to various districts. 

Khan was the Divisional Commissioner in August 2019 when the BJP government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

 There are reports that his name figures on the list of IAS and Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) officers involved in the issuance of fake gun licenses during his tenure as district magistrate and the CBI wanted to prosecute him but it couldn’t do so due to his post as advisor to the LG. Sources said Monday’s raid pertains to a gun licenses racket that was unearthed by Rajasthan Police in 2017. Over 50 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the illegal issuance of arms licenses. In its investigation, the Rajasthan ATS found that thousands of gun licences had been issued by competent authorities in various districts of Jammu and Kashmir to outsiders on the basis of forged documents. It is alleged that arms licenses were issued in lieu of illegal gratification.

When the case surfaced the J&K government asked the State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) to probe the matter. The SVO registered two separate FIRs in Kashmir and Jammu region. The SVO found the involvement of officials at the district level, including senior officers in Baramulla, Kupwara, Kathua, Ramban, Udhampur and Jammu.

Given the nature of the case in August 2018, the then Governor N N Vohra-led J&K administration gave consent to an extension of powers of members of Delhi ‘Special Police Establishment’ to probe cases related to fake arms licenses in the state. Subsequently, the case was investigated by the CBI.

In July this year, the CBI carried out raids at dozens of locations simultaneously in Srinagar, Udhampur and Jammu, Delhi, Rajasthan, claiming to have recovered incriminating documents and electronic evidence that pointed to a nexus between gun house owners and bureaucrats for issuance of the licences.

In December 2019, the CBI had also carried out searches at over a dozen locations in Srinagar, Jammu, Gurugram and Noida on the premises of the then District Magistrates of Kupwara, Baramulla, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Shopian, Rajouri, Doda, Pulwama, and several other places.

“During investigation and scrutiny of documents, the role of certain gun dealers was found who in connivance with the public servants i.e. the then DM and ADM of the concerned district had allegedly issued such illegal arms licenses to the ineligible persons. It was also alleged that the persons who got these licenses were not residents of the places from where the said arms licenses were issued,” the CBI had said in a statement.

The CBI had stated that more than 2.78 lakh arms licenses were issued to non-entitled persons during 2012-16.

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