Gang arrested for issuing fake arms licences after register went missing in 2007

The Ghaziabad police on Tuesday busted a gang that was involved in getting fake arms licences in connivance with two contractual employees of the Shahjahanpur district collectorate. Five people, including three licence-holders, have been arrested.

The officials said the gang involved a gun house owner and a local pradhan of Shahjahanpur, who took advantage of a missing arms register from Sehramau (North) police station in 2007 to sell fake licenses.

Hari Shanker Awasthi, owner of Durga Gun House in Shahjahanpur, and his accomplice Sadanand Sharma, a local pradhan from Anatha in Shahjahanpur, have been arrested.

The cops said that the two, in connivance with two contractual employees, Pavnesh Gautam and Shyam Bihari, of the Shahjahanpur collectorate started getting fake arms licences issued to different people for Rs 2 lakh-Rs 5 lakh. The two contractual employees, who are absconding, were assigned work pertaining to arms licences.

“The arms register from Sehramau (North) police station went missing in 2007 when it was part of Shahjahanpur district and later got notified with nearby Pilibhit district. An FIR was lodged then. Taking advantage, the gun house owner in connivance with the contractual staff issued fake arms licence with almost similar licence numbers mentioned in the missing register. The two contractual staff fed in fake UIDs of the licences without any police and tehsil verification,” said Shlok Kumar, superintendent of police (city).

The racket went on undetected till recently when the members made a mistake and issued a fake UID that did not match with the official records.

The police said a Ghaziabad resident, who was issued a fake arms licence, had put in a request to get his arms licence transferred from Shahjahanpur to Ghaziabad.

“When the UID was checked, it was not matching with records and gave rise to suspicion. We wrote to the district magistrate of Shahjahanpur and informed state officials. An inquiry was assigned to the Ghaziabad police and they came across the gang. Such instances could be going on in other districts and the state administration has been requested to check it further,” said Dr Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate, Ghaziabad.

The police said the two contractual staff of the Shajahanpur district collectorate are absconding. The gun house owner, after the fake arms licences were issued, would press upon the ‘licence’ holders to buy weapons from his shop. The police recovered five arms and copies of 17 fake arms licences from the suspects.

The three arrested licence-holders were identified as Furkan Wahid, Sanjay Garg and Vinod Singh, residents of Vijay Nagar in Ghaziabad. They allegedly got issued fake arms licences with the help of the gun house owner.

“Investigation is on. The gun house owner has told that he got issued at least 30 fake arms licences. We are investigating and more arrests will be made soon,” said the SP (City).