In poll-bound Bihar, Jharkhand chief secretary Rajiv Gauba and Sunit Kumar, DGP of police academy, Bihar, are among the 428 persons whose arms licences were cancelled by the Muzaffarpur district administration on Saturday.
Gauba and Kumar had managed the licences some 21 and nine years back, respectively, when they were posted in the district on key positions. They were, however, believed to have never procured arms against the licences issued to them.
Despite repeated notices by the district administration, the two officers are believed to have never responded to them. The officers, however, claimed that they never received any such notice.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) mandates that arms details, purchased against every licence, have to be entered into the national arms database (NAD). Licences of those who do not register have to be cancelled.
If sources are to be believed Gauba was issued arms licences for two revolvers in 1994, when he was posted in Muzaffarpur as the district magistrate prior to Bihar’s bifurcation.
Similarly, Kumar was issued a pistol licence in 2006, when he was posted there as the inspector general of Tirhut division.
Prabha Prasad, wife of former Bihar DGP, the late RR Prasad, was issued a revolver licence in 1981 when her husband was posted there as deputy inspector general of Tirhut range. Her licence, too, was cancelled.
Among others in the list are civil and police officials, including former SP and additional district magistrate rank officers, judicial officers, engineers, academicians and businessmen. Some of them had been issued arms licences 36 years back.
Talking to HT, Muzaffarpur district magistrate Dharmendra Kumar Singh said, “The exercise of reviewing arms licences was carried out at the specific directions of the MHA, which mandates registering every arms on the NAD.
We reviewed the district arms register and found that over 400 persons had not registered their arms despite procuring licences. We issued repeated notices for details of their firearms and their physical verification. When they did not respond, we finally cancelled their licences.”
Asked on the issue, Jharkhand CS Gauba told HT, “I am not aware about the licence. It was long time back and I do not remember. I did not get any notice either… It is not worth discussing about in the media.”
DGP Kumar, too, said: “Had I received any notice I would have definitely responded. If notices were actually issued and posted, why they did not reach me when I have always been in Bihar. It is a matter to be enquired.”
So far 2,727 arms licences have been cancelled in the state ever since the model code of conduct came into effect on September 9, said additional chief electoral officer, Bihar, R Lakshmanan.