J&K Govt reinstates IAS officer nearly an year after suspension in gun licences case


Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday reinstated an IAS officer Kumar Rajeev Ranjan who was suspended following his detention by Central Bureau of Investigation during investigations into allegedly irregularities in issuance of gun licences.

Pointing out that decision follows recommendations of the review committee constituted by the government vide order dated September 22 last year, an order issued by Commissioner/Secretary General Administration Department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi said the officer stands reinstated with immediate effect.

Ranjan was suspended in February last year and he at that time was posted as Additional Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Regulatory Authority, Jammu, and holding additional charge of Vice Chairman of the Jammu Development Authority.

Pointing out that his “period of detention shall be decided separately’’, the order read, adding that “consequently, Ranjan has been posted as Additional Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department’’. “He shall also hold the charge of the post of Additional CEO, Jammu and Kashmir Land Records Management Agency (JaKLaRMA) in addition to his own duties,’’ it added.

Ranjan was arrested by CBI on charges of irregularities into the issuance of gun licenses during his tennur was Kupwara District Magistrate from 2013-15. CBI had registered a case on the consent of J&K Government and further Notification from the Centre and taken over the investigation of FIR number 18 of 2018 (dated 17.05.2018), earlier registered at Police Station Vigilance Organisation Kashmir.

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.

During investigation to unearth the deep rooted conspiracy in issuance of illegal arms licenses, CBI had arrested a private person on February 24 last year on the allegations of working as conduit of gun dealers and officials of various districts of the then State of J&K and also indulged in various financial transactions with other co-accused persons, including public servants.

During further investigation, the alleged role of Ranjan surfaced during his tenure as District Magistrate, Kupwara.

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 had issued over 92000 gun licenses, 40587 of which were alone issued in 2011 and 2012.

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

Figures reported in media show that 1.32 lakh of the 1.43 lakh licenses in Jammu region’s Doda, Ramban and Udhampur districts were issued to those residing outside the Union Territory.

The figure for the entire Union Territory is 4,29,301, of which just 10 per cent were issued to residents of the erstwhile State.