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UP: 3 held over unclaimed bags, suspected to be part of fake arms licence racket

On September 10, the railway police recovered unclaimed two bags when the Telangana Express halted at Jhansi railway station.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow |
Updated: September 15, 2021 5:33:08 am
The arrested youth are suspected to be part of a fake arms licence racket.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) of Uttar Pradesh have arrested three Kashmiri youths in connection with the recovery of bags containing five single barrel guns, cartridges and arms licences that were found lying unclaimed in Delhi-bound Telangana Express train on September 10. The alleged accused, who used to work as security guards in Hyderabad, were arrested from Ludhiana.

The arrested youth are suspected to be part of a fake arms licence racket. The CBI and Kerala police are already investigating the racket linked to Kashmir, the police said.

On September 10, the railway police recovered unclaimed two bags when the Telangana Express halted at Jhansi railway station. While searching baggage, the police recovered five SBBL guns, 23 live cartridges and two arms licences in the name of Majid and Mohammad Rafique—where their addresses were mentioned as Rajouri, Jammu & Kashmir. They also found identity cards of a security agency in Hyderabad. The two weapons were found to be linked with the arms licences issued in the names of Majid and Rafique. Majid’s licence was found to have expired in May this year.

An FIR was filed at GRP, Jhansi police station against Majid, Mohammad Rafique and others under Section 30 of Arms Act.

The police found Majid’s mobile phone number on his identity card and rang him up. He told police that he used to work as a security guard in Hyderabad and returned to his Rajouri residence a few days ago. Asked about Rafique, Majid said he was on way to Rajouri and had his weapon along with him. A police team from GRP went to Rajouri and collected details about Rafique. Later, the police arrested Rafique and two others from Ludhiana with the help of local police. The two other persons were identified as Sanjay Kumar and his brother-in-law Yashpal Sharma, both residents of Rajouri. The arrested persons, all in their twenties, were brought to Jhansi on a transit remand on Monday and later produced before a local court which sent him to judicial custody, the superintendent of police, Jhansi (GRP), Mohammad Imran, said.

The sleuths recovered arms licenses issued in the names of Sanjay and Yashpal from their possession. Police said the accused were booked for violation of Arms Act, as, during preliminary inquiry, it came to light that the recovered weapons belonged to them and their associates. The sleuths have sought custody of the accused. The police are also on the lookout for two more persons ¬ Majid and Abdul Kareem – also residents of Rajouri—in this case. The arrested persons were allegedly carrying weapons belonging to Majid and Kareem, police said. All five persons were working in the same security agency in Hyderabad.

“The case appears to be linked with the one on fake arms licences. A team from GRP, Jhansi is being sent to Jammu & Kashmir to verify arms licences of the accused,” a police officer said. It is learnt that four arms licences were issued from Rajouri district administration, while another one was issued from Doda district of Jammu & Kashmir.

Imran added if the arms licences are found to be fake then relevant IPC sections would be added against the accused. Several security agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau and National Investigation Agency (NIA), have questioned the accused and are trying to verify their claim. Police have learnt that Majid was booked in 2005 in Jammu & Kashmir on the charge of extortion. UP police are planning to contact the CBI, which is investigating the fake arms licence racket. The case pertains to the alleged fraudulent issuance of gun licenses to outsiders by officials in Jammu & Kashmir between 2012 and 2016. In July this year, the CBI conducted searches at 40 places across Jammu, Srinagar, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla, Udhampur and Delhi.

The police are also trying to join the dots with regard to the recovery of weapons and ammunition from a bag which was found lying in the bushes near Itarsi railway station at Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh on February 10. Police recovered three .12 bore rifle and .10 live cartridges from the bag. These are suspected to have been thrown from a running train, the sleuths said.

According to the GRP, the three accused said they recently came to know that the Kerala police have arrested over a dozen security guards, all from Rajouri, for allegedly having fake arms licences. “The accused were dubious about their licenses as they were obtained through an agent in Rajouri. Fearing that police could check their licences, the accused decided to go home and their licences were verified to have been issued by the Rajouri district administration,” an officer said.

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