J&K arms licensing case: IAS officer Rajiv Ranjan suspended

Mubashir Bukhari

Srinagar (NVI): A day after being sent in 10-day police custody, IAS officer and former Kupwara District Magistrate (DM) Rajiv Ranjan was suspended today for his involvement in arms licensing case.

“In pursuance of Rule 3(2) of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969, Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, IAS, Additional Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Regulatory Authority, Jammu, holding additional charge of Vice-chairman, Jammu Development Authority, shall be deemed to have been placed under suspension w.e.f 29.02.2020 i.e. the date on which he has been detained in the custody of CBI, SCB, Chandigarh,” an official order read.

Yesterday, Kumar Rajiv Ranjan and Itrit Hussain Rafiqui, both former DMs of Kupwara, were arrested on Sunday for issuing gun licenses “fraudulently and illegally in lieu of monetary consideration” during their respective tenures.

While Ranjan was in office from 2013-2015, Itrit held the post from 2015 to 2016.

“The Special Judge CBI Cases, Srinagar has today remanded the then two District Magistrates, Kupwara in ten days Police Custody in a case related to irregularities in issuance of arms licenses. Both the accused were arrested by CBI in an on-going investigation of the said case,” a CBI spokesperson said yesterday.

The allegations in the case, as per the CBI spokesperson, were that during the period 2012 to 2016, the Deputy Commissioners of various districts of J&K, including District Kupwara had fraudulently and illegally issued bulk arms licenses in lieu of monetary consideration.

The roots of this massive scam go as back as 2012 when it first came to the fore.

Between 2009 and 2013, the Jammu and Kashmir government has issued over 92,000 gun licenses, 40,587 of which were issued in 2011 and 2012 alone.

Overall, the case involves issuance of over two lakh arms licenses in eight districts of the erstwhile state.