Madhya Pradesh arms license racket gets bigger, 75 cases registered in 10 days

Four state government clerical staff posted in Satna district collectorate’s Arms Section ran parallel collectorate to operate the racket.

Published: 23rd February 2020 12:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2020 12:01 AM   |  A+A-

gunshot, shooting,

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: An alleged racket operated by Madhya Pradesh government clerks that violated arms license norms and tampered existing weapon licenses to aid illegal activity in Satna district turning out to be much bigger than expected.

The Madhya Pradesh Police’s Special Task Force (MPSTF) has registered 75 cases over the last ten days against four state government clerks, who headed the Arms Section (which is the fulcrum of entire arms licensing activity) at the Satna district collectorate since 2004.

According to ongoing probe, the four clerical grade staff, including Yugal Kishor Garg, Ram Bhaiya Sharma, Abhay Raj Singh and Ram Sajivan Kol, who were posted in the Arms Section of Satna district collectorate since 2004 ran a parallel collectorate in Satna and tampered and forged arms licenses violating existing norms to render undue favour to arms license holders of MP and other states.

According to additional DG (ADG-MPSTF) Ashok Awasthi, the racket is much bigger than anticipation.

The clerical grade staff flouted all arm license-related norms to illegally extend the area for which the licenses were valid, forged entries in the licenses to help the license holders get additional bullets against the licenses, illegally added retainers to existing license holders and also made duplicate licenses of existing licenses sans requisite permission of the district administration higher-ups.

The alleged wrongdoer clerical staff also illegally registered and renewed in Satna district, those arms licenses which were originally issued from security sensitive states like Jammu and Kashmir.

“As the racket is getting bigger with the passage of the ongoing probe, we’re particularly concerned about strong possibility of thousands of additional cartridges/bullets (which were issued after tampering of existing licenses) since 2004 having made way into the hands of inter-state dacoit gangs operating in Satna district and adjoining UP, as well as Maoists in adjoining Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, besides organized criminals of East UP,” said Awasthi.

On February 13, the STF had revealed lodging of 25 cases u/s 420 of IPC (cheating) and 30 Arms Act (contravention of license or rule) against the clerical staff presently on the run. But with 50 more cases being registered against the same clerical staff, the situation is turning out to be alarming now.

Importantly, one of the 75 existing arms licenses which were misused, tampered or forged, included the arms license held by Neelanshu Chaturvedi, the Congress MLA from Chitrakoot (Satna).

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