Comdt, ex-DC, gun dealer booked by CBI in arms license racket

Several BSF jawans cheated

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Oct 1: Few days after Rajasthan’s Anti-Terrorism Squad unearthed arms licenses racket in Jammu and Kashmir, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has registered a case against former Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri, BSF Commandant and a gun dealer of Paloura Top, Jammu for selling licenses to the BSF jawans without completion of requisite formalities.
Those booked by the CBI included Faquir Chand Bhagat, former Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate, Rajouri, BSF Commandant Sukhwinder Singh and Pramod Kumar Sharma, a retired BSF constable and owner of Nav Durga Gun House, Paloura Top, Jammu.
Official sources told the Excelsior that BSF Commandant Sukhwinder Singh, posted at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat had colluded with gun dealer, Pramod Kumar Sharma, who had also retired from the BSF, for making gun licenses for the BSF jawans of Gujarat, from Jammu region. Sukhwinder arranged nearly a dozen BSF constables, most of whom were at the verge of retirement and asked them to pay Rs 12,000 each to Pramod Kumar for licenses.
The BSF jawans paid the amount as they were assured that the gun licenses would be genuine and they were not required to complete any formality.
The gun dealer was reported to have managed gun licenses from former Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri Faquir Chand Bhagat without completion of requisite formalities.
The CBI received a complaint from BSF Director General KK Sharma, on the basis of which it lodged a First Information Report (FIR) in the fake gun license racket. Sharma is reported to have been briefed about the racket by some of the officials of the BSF.
The CBI has booked the trio including the former Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, the BSF Assistant Commandant and the gun dealer for criminal conspiracy, forgery, criminal misconduct and cheating, sources said.
The case was registered under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating and dishonesty), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic records), 472 (making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc., with intent to commit forgery punishable under Section 467), 474 (having possession of document described in Section 466 or 467, knowing it to be forged and intending to use it as genuine), Ranbir Panel Code and 5(1 )(d) read with 5(2) of Jammu & Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 and Section 30 of Arms Act, 1959.
According to the CBI FIR, all the nine jawans who procured the license were posted at the Frontier Headquarters, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat. None of them belonged to Rajouri district of Jammu region from where the licenses had been issued by the then Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri.
According to the CBI case, PK Sharma, the owner of Nav Durga Gun House, Jammu, had charged Rs 12,000 per license from BSF personnel for providing arms licenses. The complainant had alleged that the owner of the gun shop in Jammu was ‘close’ to the BSF Commandant who  introduced him to the BSF personnel .
In the FIR, the CBI has claimed that the BSF Commandant arranged the meeting of gun shop owner PK Sharma with the jawans of the BSF at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat and persuaded them to get private arms licenses for Rs 12,000 each. The BSF jawans agreed as they were told that they wouldn’t be require to complete any major formality as entire process would be done by the gun dealer and they would be handed over the licenses.
“The CBI has stated that the licenses were issued on the basis of forged documents and the then District Magistrate (Rajouri) Faquir Chand Bhagat  approved them in violation of the rules and procedures and without due verification,” sources said.
However, according to sources, it would be ascertained during investigations as to whether the gun licenses had, in fact, been issued by Bhagat or his signatures and stamps had been fabricated.
Only few days back, Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad had unearthed a major fake arms license racket involving a gun dealer of Jammu. The gun licenses were reported to have been issued from six districts of Jammu and Kashmir but there had been reports that licenses might have been fabricated using fake signatures and stamps of the officers.