The CBI on Saturday began searching 40 sites in Jammu and Kashmir and the national capital in connection with allegations of anomalies in the issue of thousands of weapons licences to non-residents based on falsified papers.

In a continuing probe of a weapons licence racket, search operations have been carried out in Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla, and Delhi at the official and residential properties of public officials, including IAS personnel, as well as about 20 gun houses.

The CBI conducted searches on the premises of the then district collectors and magistrates of Kupwara, Baramulla, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Shopian, Rajouri, Doda, Pulwama, and numerous other areas in Srinagar, Jammu, Gurgaon, and Noida in December 2019.

The searches were conducted as part of an investigation into two instances involving the alleged issue of over two lakh weapons licences by collectors and magistrates in different districts of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. Arms licences are said to have been granted in exchange for illicit pleasure.

It is alleged that, in collusion with other defendants, former public officials issued illegally obtained weapons licences to non-residents of the state.

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