IAS Officer’s Brother Arrested In Gun Licence Case
SRINAGAR: Stars seem to be not so in favour of Jammu and Kashmir’s IAS 2010 batch. A day after the governor’s administration initiated an enquiry into the batch’s only Kashmir topper for his “sarcastic” few-liners on social media, another member of the bath is in news – Kumar Rajeev Ranjan.
A Jammu newspaper reported that Ranjan’s elder brother
Kumar Jyoti Ranjan (46) was arrested from Gurugram in connection with illegal arms and fake licence racket. Ranjan’s involvement is that somehow his office has facilitated the issuance of the licensees, according to ATS that is investigating the case.
“It is the 52nd arrest in the case wherein 67 illegal arms and 1,188 fake licences had been seized by Rajasthan police,” Jammu newspaper State Times reported. The racket, umpteenth in number, was busted last year. “The accused had got several licences issued to beneficiaries allegedly through his younger brother Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, a senior IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre.”
Ranjan Sr, is owning a Haryana-based construction company.
The newspaper quoted Additional Director General (ATS and SOG) Umesh Mishra telling reporters that the accused had got several licences issued to beneficiaries allegedly through his younger brother Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, a senior IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre.
Ranjan Jr, has been Deputy Commissioner in Jammu, and Kauprawa and later headed the education department in Kashmir as well. Right now, he is awaiting orders of posting in the office of Divisional Commissioner Jammu. So far he has not been questioned, however.
“In September last year, the ATS and SOG had busted interstate illegal arms and license syndicate operational in at least four states with the arrest of the racket kingpin from Ajmer. An accused, Zuber, was arrested for taking Rs 3-4 lakh to get the license issued from Jammu and Kashmir in back dates,” the newspaper said. “Issuance of all-India arms license in states was prohibited since 2008 and, therefore, the accused got the licenses issued on local addresses in Jammu and Kashmir in back date, they said. An intelligence team had received a tip-off that an organised inter-state illegal arms and license racket was operational following which raids were conducted in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) has registered an FIR 18/18 after J&K Home Department directed Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu to hold fresh verification into licenses issued between January 2017 and February 23, 2018, in eight districts of the State.
On March 6, 2018, Principal Secretary Home had also written a letter to Divisional Commissioners of the State to verify arms licences in Kishtwar, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Leh, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, and Udhampur issued to locals, non-state subjects, and armed personnel. The National Database for Arms Licenses had reported that the number of arms licenses issued to some districts in the State had been exceedingly large in numbers. As per the Union Ministry of Home Affairs report, 3, 69,191 gun licenses have been issued during the last 15 years.
“On June 30, 2018, the SVO had conducted surprise checking at the office of Deputy Commissioner Udhampur and Rajouri,” the newspaper reported. “At Udhampur, the Vigilance team seized records pertaining to the issuance of over 20,000 arms licenses between 2012 and 2016. With this, the investigations into infamous arms licences scandal gained momentum.” The report said that the investigations revealed that the licences were issued on single page application forms without conducting any CID or police verifications.
Ranjan Jr has is being considered as one of the brilliant officers of the batch. In January 2017, when he was posted as Director Education, his predecessor Dr Shah Faesal wrote about him on his FB wall: “A boy from a very humble background did his BTech from BITS Pilani. Joined DRDO as a scientist and became a team leader of one of the most critical missile projects of the country. Suffered an accident in the line of duty, went into a protracted coma and had a close shave with death. After recovery appeared in the Indian Engineering Services exam and topped it. Left. Joined Indian Railway Service. Left. Joined IAS. Got five gold medals in IAS Professional Course. Joined as DC Kupwara. Did amazing work there. Got posted today as Director School Education Kashmir. That is Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, my batch-mate, and one of the most brilliant guys I have come across in life.”
Now both of them are facing the music – one for just a “sarcastic” comment and another for deeds of his brother.