Increasing cases of shootouts and gunfire in Assam is directly related to the unabated flow of illegal arms from Nagaland which is perhaps the only state in India promoting gun culture with a scope to become the most sought out destination for illegal arms and ammunitions after Cox Bazaar of neighbouring Bangladesh. Nagaland's arms market being well organised and backed by insurgents elements.
However in depth investigation by INSIDENE into an alleged tip off following the recovery of an AK-56 rifle and a grenade besides pistols of different makes by Jorhat Police recently has brought a disturbing fact to the fore wherein some noted individuals of Jorhat not only possessed small arms like .32 & .22 pistols on an All India Arms Licence copy issued by Nagaland Government and signed by an Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) but were issued to individuals who were minors.
This had prompted the present District Magistrate Virendra Mittal who is also the Deputy Commissioner of Jorhat to write a letter to his counterpart in Dimapur seeking clarification against Arms Licence No 475 issued to one Ujjal Jyoti Borah who was issued the license in 1994 and at the age of 14. As per records, at the time of the issue of the license, Ujjal Jyoti Borah's recorded date of birth was 01/03/1980 which is beyond rule. Moreover, as per the guideline of the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs vide No-V-18048/3/2010- Arms dtd 16/03/2010, 'License shall be granted to the permanent resident of the particular state and not in any other state'.
Rules, regulations, policies and orders even if issued by Ministry of Home Affairs isn't a concern for the Nagaland Government. Naga Government has its own set of rules which is followed with ease. Now another development that INSIDENE managed to unearth is that in Nagaland all arms license are signed by an ADC and not even a District Magistrate despite a standing order in place issued by Assistant Director/SMAC, SIB (MHA), Govt of India vide 8/SMAC-OC/2012-2295 wherein it states, ' In Nagaland State, only the Chief Secretary Nagaland is authorised to issue 'All India Arms Licence'. As such Arms licenses issued by Deputy Commissioners (DC's) or any other official in Nagaland are obviously fake and need to be investigated.
This golden rule which is otherwise followed throughout the region has failed to touch Nagaland. In connection to the Jorhat DM's letter to the Dimapur DM a funny note in exchange for the information sought for the minors arms license led to the review of all arms license pertaining to Nagaland and registering of a case under Arms Act in Jorhat which is attributed to be the first of its kind. The concluding para of the letter furnished by the Commissioner of Police, Dimapur, Nagaland issued to IO (Investigating Officer) and SI of Assam Police Golap Bailung vide letter No - CP/DMR/SB-09/ARMS CELL - 14/2017/678 dated 05/08/2017 read " Based on the report submitted, details of the licensee was verified with the provided documents and found tallied in the office record furnished from DC Office, Dimapur. It is further intimated that if any adverse remark is found against the licensee as per the relevant sections of your P.S Case no 1362/2017 U/S 420/468/471 IPC R/W Sec 25 (1) (a), Arms Act, you may pursue for the cancellation of the license and impounding of the weapon to this office", which meant that Nagaland Government admitted to issuing the arms license to a minor and instead of taking action or cancelling the license had went a step ahead by requesting the officials in Assam to pursue cancellation.
An inside source informed about the presence of hundreds of such illegally acquired legal weapons in every district of Assam. One Ujjal Jyoti Borah's case came to the front due to the initiative taken by the District Magistrate. Question is what about the others? Are these legal illegal weapons contributing to the present 'Bullet Raj' chaos in Assam where a bullet is served on the pretext of even a minimum brawl where bullet for a bullet has become the rule of the day.
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