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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Arms licensing case: CBI searches Baseer Khan residence, week after his removal as J&K Lt Gov’s advisor

Khan, a promoted IAS officer, was relieved of the charge of advisor earlier this month.

By: PTI | Srinagar |
Updated: October 13, 2021 7:34:24 am
cbi jammu kashmir baseer khan raidThe Central Bureau Of Investigation office in New Delhi. (File Photo)

The CBI on Tuesday conducted searches at Baseer Ahmad Khan’s residence in Srinagar on Tuesday, a week after he was removed as adviser to Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. The agency also searched 40 other locations in J&K and outside.

The CBI conducted the search at Khan’s residence as part of a probe into the fake gun licence scam, in which top J&K bureaucrats are allegedly involved.

Khan had served as the district magistrate of several J&K districts between 2012 and 2016 and had been the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir in 2019, when the Centre abrogated the special status of J&K and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.

Despite being named in the Gulmarg land scam, Khan was appointed advisor to then Lt Governor G C Murmu. Under Murmu’s successor, Sinha, Khan held the key portfolios of Power Development, Rural Development, Relief and Reconstruction, Culture, Tourism, Planning and Industries and Commerce.

However, in a sudden development, Khan was removed as advisor on October 5.

In a statement Tuesday, CBI said it conducted searches at the official and residential premises of 14 former public servants — both from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) — along with the houses of five middlemen and 10 gun houses/dealers in “an on-going investigation of a case related to Arms licence racket”.

“The Central Bureau of Investigation has today conducted searches at around 41 locations including at Srinagar, Anantnag, Banihal, Baramulla, Jammu, Doda, Rajouri, Kishtwar (Jammu and Kashmir), Leh, Delhi & Bhind (Madhya Pradesh),” the agency said. “During searches, incriminating documents including issuance of arms licences, list of beneficiaries, documents related to investment in FDRs and other sale proceeds, property documents, bank account details, locker keys, diary comprising incriminating details, arms license registers, electronic gadgets/mobile phones and some cash including old currency were recovered.”

The CBI, on the request of the J&K administration, had registered two cases over the alleged “bulk issuance of arms licenses” between 2012 to 2016 in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been alleged that more than 2.78 lakh arms licences were issued to non-entitled persons.

“During investigation and scrutiny of documents, the role of certain gun dealers was found who in connivance with the public servants i.e. the then DM and ADM etc of concerned District, had allegedly issued such illegal arms licenses to the ineligible persons. It was also alleged that the persons who got these licences were not residents of the places from where the said arms licenses were issued,” the CBI statement said.

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