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Issuance of fresh arms licenses banned

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Srinagar, Mar 08: Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered a ban on the issuance of fresh arms licenses in the state till further orders.

“No fresh individual fresh license shall be issued by the District Magistrate(s) of the State of Jammu and Kashmir in terms of section 14(1)(b)(ii) of the Arms Act, 1959, till further orders,” read an order, issued by the government on Thursday.

The order, issued by Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary to the government, said that the Home department had inputs from the police and the Union Home Ministry regarding “indiscriminate issuance” of arms licenses within the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kabra also directed the district magistrates to take urgent steps to revoke all such Individual Arms Licenses issued to various persons excluding the personnel belonging to the State Police, Army and CAPFs, which do not meet all the conditions prescribed in Rule 11 and Rule 12 of Arms Rules, 2016.

“The District Magistrate shall direct all such persons, whose license is revoked, to deposit any arms or ammunition, with the officer IIC of the nearest Police Station, in terms of the Section 21 of the Arms Act, 1959 failing which action as warranted under law shall be initiated,” said the order. “This action shall be concluded within 15 days of issue of this order and compliance reported to the Home Department.”

The issuance of arms licenses, according to the order, were also discussed in a meeting taken by Election Commission of India during its visit to the State in context of ensuing General Elections, 2019.

“The Home Department has, accordingly, reviewed the matter in light of the discussions held in the meeting with ECl and also in context of the directions issued vide aforementioned Government Order,” it said.

“With a view to ensure maintenance of law and order in the State, particularly, during the ensuing General Elections, 2019, it has been found expedient to issue the following directions/instructions to all the District Magistrates and District SSsP /SsP for strict compliance:

“The District Magistrates shall furnish the details of the individual Arms Licences issued by their offices for the period 2012 up to 12.07.2018 to the respective SSP/SP by or before 9th March, 2019.

“The concerned SSP/SP shall, on receipt of such details, conduct an intensive verification of those licenses which have been issued to persons within his/her jurisdiction within a period of seven days and ensure adherence to ECI instructions regarding deposition of the licenced weapons;

“The Concerned SSP/SP shall, also, in respect of those State Subjects who belong to other Districts if J&K, immediately take up the matter with the SSP/ SP if the domicile District if the licence for the purpose of verification of licence and adherence to ECI instructions regarding deposition of the licenced weapons.

“The District SSsP/SsP, on receiving the above information from District Magistrates shall also verify and reconcile the information with the details of the Arms licences maintained in Form No. 123 (Form H) appended to Jammu and Kashmir Police Rules, 1960, as provided under Rule 537 of the aforesaid Rules.”

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