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Mystery arms link with Valley, NE

Patna, Sept. 4: The state capital seems to share a mysterious “arms” relationship with Udhampur district in Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland in the Northeast.

Patliputra and Patrakar Nagar police stations have since Tuesday arrested seven private security guards with different agencies and recovered fake arms licences issued from Udhampur and Nagaland. On September 1, a Patna police team nabbed 10 armed private security guards from Ichipur area of Dulhin Bazaar police station. Eight double-barrel rifles and over 100 cartridges were found. The weapons’ licence bore the stamp of Udhampur, 1,645km north of Patna.

On March 21 last year, one Lalit Kumar, an armed guard of the city-based Black Commando Security Services, was detained with a fake arms licence issued from Udhampur district. The same day, cops raided Naubhatpur resident Sashi Shekhar Sharma’s home and found a pistol and rifle with fake licences, also from Udhampur.

In November 2011, former Patna SP Shivdeep Lande and his team nabbed three security guards with different agencies for keeping illegal arms with fake licences, again from Udhampur. Talk of probing the issue fizzled out but after the fresh recoveries, the police and state home department are worked up.

“One breakthrough in the arrests today and yesterday was they also arrested someone involved in making these fake licences. The men are being quizzed,” Patna SSP Manu Maharaj said.

“Preliminary investigations reveal the fake licences are issued for money and the seekers may not be going to Udhampur for the same. But, why is it always Udhampur or Nagaland? Could be because both these places are remote and have special status category. Possibly, those getting hold of these licences feel the police won’t cross-check how the licences were got,” another officer said.

Several attempts to contact DC (deputy commissioner), Udhampur, Yasha Mudgal, proved futile. But Udhampur additional SP Benam Tosh said they had received similar complaints from other states. “The police don’t issue arms licence. It is the district administration’s job. But there have been complaints from Mumbai and Pune too. There could be a nexus, it needs to be probed. If Patna police approach us, assistance will be given,” Tosh said.

“The home department has listed 54 security agencies that have operational licence (see department website home.bih.nic.in). Institutions should hire from these agencies,” an official said.


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