GUWAHATI, India, April 13 (UPI) — Indian security officials say they are increasing concerned about firearms security.
The government is particularly unsettled by the proliferation of forged arms licenses in Nagaland in northeastern India.
Recent police criminal investigation department inquires have determined that several armed private security guards and criminals in Assam possess illegal firearms purchased by using fraudulent arms licenses issued in Kangpokpi in Manipur and Dimapur in India’s troubled Nagaland.
India’s Nagaland state is in Indiay’s far northeast and borders the state of Assam to the west and north as well as Arunachal Pradesh state and Myanmar to the east.
The state is the center of a long-simmering insurgency. Residents say that their concerns have been ignored by the Indian government, The Telegraph newspaper in Kolkata reported. Many armed groups roam the state.
In response to New Delhi’s alleged lack of concern, in 1980 the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, a Maoist organization, was formed to establish a Greater Nagaland, encompassing parts of Manipur, Nagaland and the north Cachar hills in Assam.
The NSCN split in 1988 into the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) and NSCN (Khaplang), with both groups maintaining a shaky cease-fire with the Indian government.
Their concept of a Greater Nagaland is strongly opposed by the neighboring states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh as they all say they fear they would lose territory should such a political entity be formed.
Among the security problems still roiling the region are extortion, kidnapping and inter-factional clashes.
The CID, which is investigating, said arms and ammunition obtained using bogus licenses were a rising threat to public safety and an increasing concern for security forces.
“If anybody commits a crime with a firearm procured through these licenses, it becomes very difficult for police to track him down, since these licenses do not have the complete address of the license holder, a CID official, speaking on condition of anonymity to The Telegraph, said.
The source said there is an “interstate racket” providing fake licenses to residents of Assam.
He said the investigation uncovered 41 arms licenses with all-India validity and with incomplete addresses had been issued by the additional district magistrate of Kangpokpi subdivision.
“There must be some illegal activity going on,” the source said to The Telegraph. “Otherwise, why would a resident of Assam go all the way to Kangpokpi and Dimapur to get an arms license instead of applying in his home state?”