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CBI seeks sanctions against three IAS officers to probe irregularities in arm licencing

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New Delhi: To probe the alleged irregularities in the issuance and renewal of hundreds of thousands of arms licences to non-residents in Jammu & Kashmir, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought permission to prosecute three IAS officers — Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Rajeev Ranjan and Niraj Kumar.

Choudhary, a 2009 batch officer, is at present posted as secretary in the tribal affairs department with additional charge as CEO of Mission Youth in J&K. Actually, the CBI’s request for sanction is mandatory to file the charge sheet against these officers.

The CBI is probing irregularities in the issuance of more than 278,000 arms licences between 2012 and 2016 (out of 449,000 issued in this period in the erstwhile state) in several districts of J&K to non-entitled people by district magistrates, deputy commissioners and licencing authorities in lieu of monetary considerations by abusing their official positions.

The role of Choudhary as district magistrate in Reasi, Kathua and Udhampur districts is under investigation. The investigating agency raided his house in July this year along with several other IAS officers, Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) officers, former district magistrates, additional district magistrates, and gun dealers.

Apart from Choudhary, the other two officers against whom sanction has been sought included Niraj Kumar, who is currently posted as additional resident commissioner of J&K in Delhi while Rajeev Ranjan is posted in the revenue department in J&K. CBI arrested Ranjan in March 2020, after which he was suspended, but the government reinstated him this February.

Sources informed that sanction for five others from the state services was also sought in the case, which has already been granted to the CBI while sanction request for three IAS officers has been forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

The charge sheet will be filed against the three IAS officers as soon as the sanction is granted. Following the raids at his premises in July, Choudhary tweeted: Reasi, Kathua and Udhampur districts, where he was posted, only 56,000 (12.4% of the total 449,000) arms licences were issued during 2012-16. “This is not disproportionate number… of the 56,000 licences issued in three districts — Reasi, Kathua and Udhampur — between 2012-16, only 1,720 were issued in my tenure — 3% of all licences issued in three districts in four years or during the period under investigation and 0.38% of all such licences issued in J&K,” he said.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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