On March 24, the ED had searched 11 premises, including those of IAS officer Rajeev Ranjan, JKAS officers Itrat Hussain Rafiqui and Ravinder Kumar Bhatt among other officials and arms dealers. Incriminating documents were seized.
An ED official based in Jammu said documents were seized regarding immovable properties purchased by officials from illegal gratification received in lieu of commission for issuing fake arms licences. Rs 93.5 lakh was seized from the houses of dealers, including Mukesh Bhargava, Rs 65 lakh from Devi Dayal Khajuria and 1.7-kg gold from Madan Bhargava.
The official said, “16-properties of officials and arms dealers, agents and brokers, namely Rahul Grover, Zumurud Hussain Shah, Syed Adeel Hussain Shah, Syed Akeel Hussain Shah and Abid Hussain Shah worth several crores of rupees have been attached. Further investigation is in progress.”
According to the official, the investigation has revealed that between 2012 and 2016, deputy commissioners of several districts in J&K fraudulently issued bulk arms licences in lieu of monetary consideration. “The scam was unearthed by the Rajasthan ATS in 2017. The CBI had registered the case following the consent of the J&K government and further notification from the Centre in 2018.”
Former Kupwara DCs Rajeev Ranjan and Itrat Hussain Rafiqui, the then clerks Gajan Singh and Tariq Ather Beigh, in connivance with arms dealers/brokers, including Rahul Grover, Zumurud Hussain Shah, Syed Adeel Hussain Shah, Syed Akeel Hussain Shah, Abid Hussain Shah and Vishal Dhar, flouted the norms to illegally issue arms licences, the ED official said, adding that Rajeev Ranjan had purchased many flats in SAS Nagar (Punjab), Varanasi (UP) and shops in Chandigarh.
Itrat Hussain Rafiqui and Gajan Singh too have purchased many properties, the investigation adds.
Worth Rs 4.69 crore
The attached properties are said to be worth Rs 4.69 crore. On March 24 too the ED had searched 11 premises and seized some documents.
The case involves issuance of bulk arms licences in violation of norms between 2012 and 2016. It was unearthed in 2017.