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No more flaunting of multiple arms by Bihar ‘dons’; just one license valid from April 1
Updated: Mar 22, 2017 18:50 IST
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar’s high and mighty, for long been given to flaunting fancy weapons, sometimes as a status symbol and at other times as an intimidation tactic, will soon experience a severe curb in such display of their power and sway..
For, kicking in on April 1 is the new arms license issuance system (ALIS), under the union home ministry’s national database of arms licences (NDAL) project. It clearly lays down that any individual can hold just one arms license, instead of multiple licenses, as being held at present by held by many ‘bahubalis’ in Bihar at present.
This effectively means any Bihar ‘bahubali’ (muscle-endowed) criminal-politician or a politician or bureaucrat, will be able to wear just one weapon on a single arms license!
While uploading arms licenses data for NDAL, the Bihar government has found that thousands of people, including politicians, musclemen and contractors, hold multiple arms licences, even as thousands of fresh applications for issuance of arms licences remain pending with different district magistrates.
“In many cases, people appear to have got multiple licenses issued just to flaunt weapons as a status symbol. In some cases, one person was found to hold up to three arms licences. Multiple licenses in the name of one individual won’t be valid, come April 1”, said an official of the home department.
Patna district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agarwal told HT that in Patna alone, from where around 8,000 entries have been made in NDAL, around 750 persons were found to be holding multiple arms licences.
The Bihar government, like other state governments, has to upload all data related to arms licences to NDAL software latest by March 31. Any arms license whose data is not uploaded by that date will be rendered invalid with effect from April 1.
So far, in eight districts of Bihar, including Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Jehanabad, Jamui, Munger, Nalanda and Patna, the process of data entry of arms licences has not been completed, partly owing to ambiguity over what was to be done with multiple arms licences issued in the past.
Now, Bihar’s home department has made it clear through its letter to all the district magistrates that an individual can have just one arms license in his/her name.
With the March 31 deadline close to expiry, principal secretary, home, Amir Subhani has written to DMs of all 38 districts of Bihar to complete the exercise on a priority basis. It was during a review of what was delaying the data uploading exercise, that the authorities stumbled upon incidence of people having multiple arms licences.
Reached for a reaction, Darbhanga DM Chandra Shekhar Singh confirmed that under the new NDAL rules, an individual would be eligible for only one arms license.
As such, several DMs have directed the holders of multiple arms licenses to deposit them in the offices of the district arms magistrates with a request letter for their consolidation/merger into a single license and to get the endorsement of their firearms on the new license, under his/her unique identity number (UIN) under NDAL.
An arms magistrate of a central Bihar district told HT that a license holder should deposit the arms license(s) and obtain a receipt by March 31, without fail. “After this deadline expires, any license not uploaded under NDAL or submitted to the authorities was liable to be cancelled”, he said.