Ferozepur, December 8
As many as 21 proclaimed offenders (POs) involved in serious crimes have been found in possession of firearms licence in the district, which has seen a series of fake licence scams over the past two decades. Crucially, the district shares international boundary with Pakistan.
While the number is suspected to be higher, of the 21 identified so far, nine are offenders under Section 138 (dishonour of cheque) of Negotiable Instruments Act and 12 involved in heinous crimes.
SSP Vivek Sheel Soni said he had sent the list to the Deputy Commissioner’s office for cancellation of licences with immediate effect. A special inquiry had been marked under an SP-rank officer to determine how individuals with criminal background were in possession of arms licences. Any lapse on part of the police would be ascertained during the inquiry, he said.
Sources said while some of the licences might have been obtained before the CBI started its investigation into the fake arms licence scandal 19 years ago, some of these had been procured after the scam surfaced. The SSP said he had sought a list of all POs from the court to ascertain if there were more such cases. Earlier, thousands of fake licences issued by the local licensing authority had been seized, with some ending up with ultras in Jammu and Kashmir, besides criminals in UP and neighbouring states.
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