Hyderabad, Nov 18: Hyderabad Police task force team arrested seven people including a Kashmiri for allegedly running a fake arms licence racket in the state.
The perpetrators used fake seals of licence issuing officials and forged the signatures to prepare the fake arms licences and procured real weapons. This is of great danger to the security of the city as illegal weapons are in circulation and being used for various purposes by dubious means.
According to police, the mastermind of the racket is Altaf Hussain, a resident of Kashmir’s Rajouri district.
Hyderabad City Police Commissioner CV Anand’s office through an official release said, “The mastermind of the racket Altaf Hussain, resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, came to the city in 2013 for livelihood and joined Grace Management Security Service. Later he was deployed as a gunman in SIS cash service, west Marredpally. Prior to his employment in the city, he purchased a double-bore gun using a fake arms licence in Rajouri which he had obtained by bribing the local magistrate’s office. As he was familiar with the process and licence details, he teamed up with Hafeezuddin, a stamp vendor in Secunderabad, and started issuing fake gun licenses by indulging in forgery and affixing fake seals. These fake documents have been used to procure real arms. Further, he steeped the illegal activity and started issuing fake arms licenses and trapped the unemployed youth residing in Jammu and Kashmir who tried to make a living as security guards in private security firms. Using the fake All India Licenses (Rajouri based), weapons were procured from other states by these gullible candidates for 40,000 to 60, 000 rupees.”
The Hyderabad Police further said that the infringement has taken place with the connivance of Venkata Konda Reddy, Regional Manager at Grace Management Security Services and I. Srinivas, a photocopy shop owner in West Marredpally.
“The accused used to collect Rs 20,000 from each unemployed youngster and later deployed them in various private security agencies, a serious lapse in the functioning of security firms. Asian Security Services, Nandamuri security and Services, Grace Management security services engaged security guards, who were in possession of illicit weapons, and deployed them to their clientele which includes VVIPs, jewellery showrooms, agencies engaged for carrying ATM cash and personal security guards, ” added Hyderabad Police.
The accused have been booked under charges of cheating, forgery, making counterfeit seals, criminal conspiracy and illegal possession of arms. The Police seized a sizeable cache of arms and ammunition including 30 single-bore weapons, three double-bore weapons, one revolver, 140 rounds, 34 fake weapon license books, 29 unused weapons license books, nine weapon licences which were affixed with fake stamps, six rubber stamps and one unsigned NOC.
“The power of issuing arms licenses and renewals is vested with police. This is illegal and a serious threat to public safety. Private security firms must adhere to the Private Security Agency Regulation Act (PSARA) under which the operation of private security agencies is governed. A private security agency cannot hire a guard with a firearms licence and they should also submit an undertaking to this effect. If banks, ATMs, Business establishments etc want armed guards, they can apply for an arms license and then hire the armed guards as retainers from the security services. We have also alerted other commissioners and District collectors” said the top brass.
CP Anand said that they will conduct a meeting with all private security agencies and urged them to voluntarily disclose the weapons in their possession. City police also contemplate issuing retainer licences to private security firms who deploy their guards to commercial establishments, ATMs and other firms.