The move followed a recent spurt in terrorist attacks on members of the minority Hindu community in UT
The Jammu and Kashmir government has revoked the restrictions imposed on the issuance of individual arms licences for the Union Territory of J&K.
The order comes after terrorist attacks on minorities have increased in the union territory. Sixteen members of the valley’s minority community were killed in various targeted terror attacks last year.
This month, terrorists gunned down five members of the minority Hindu community in a village in the Rajouri district. Following the surge in attacks on minorities, several minority members of civil society demanded that they be issued gun licences in order to protect themselves from future terror attacks.
In a fresh notification, the J&K government has directed all concerned district magistrates to consider applications received for the issuance of individual arms licenses.
The order further states that besides following the provisions of the Arms Act of 1959 and the Arms Rules of 2016, for all, including the district magistrates (licensing authorities), obtaining Aadhar cards as proof of identity is deemed obligatory.
Furthermore, all concerned district magistrates have been given strict instructions to only renew or retain new applications of individuals pertaining to their respective districts. Under no circumstances can they grant or renew a licence to an individual who isn’t residing under the jurisdiction of their district.
The order also directs all district magistrates to obtain a report on the applicant’s character and antecedents from the CID wing of the J&K police.
The Special DG CID J&K will head a committee under his chairmanship to examine each case for the grant of an individual arms license, taking into view the prevailing security environment and its report will be furnished to the concerned district magistrate for appropriate consideration.
In 2018, the home department issued an order imposing restrictions on the issuance of individual arms licences after an inquiry pointed out the large-scale issuance of fake gun licence rackets, which were initially carried out by various investigative agencies, particularly the anti-terror squad and SOG of Rajasthan and Jaipur. The case was later handed over to the CBI for a thorough investigation into the scam.