By Bharti Jain
Over 78% of the arms licences issued with all-India permission between January 1, 2018 and September 15, 2020 were in Jammu & Kashmir, while Uttar Pradesh accounted for an equal share (78%) in the arms licences cancelled during this period, according to the home ministry.
Of the 22,805 fresh arms licences issued across the country between 2018 and September 15 this year, 17,905 were issued in J&K, with UP a distant second with 952 fresh licences. While 666 new arms licences were issued in Madhya Pradesh, 623 were granted in Himachal Pradesh and 314 in Punjab, MoS (home) G Kishan Reddy said in reply to a written question in the Lok Sabha.
As per state-wise breakup of 94,400 arms licences renewed countrywide between January 1, 2018 and September 15, 2020, UP emerged on the top with 19,238 renewals, followed by J&K with 14,172, Haryana with 12,230, and Rajasthan with 7,085 renewed licences.
The maximum of 2,435 licences cancelled nationwide between January 1, 2018 and September 15, 2020, were in UP (1,911), with all the other states showing such cancellations only in double digits.
Arms licences are granted, renewed and cancelled under the Arms Act 1959
and the Arms Rules, 2016. While arms licences with all-India validity for restricted category of arms are issued by the home ministry, those for the permissible category of arms are issued by the state governments or UT administrations. ( TOI )