Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Army has initiated a probe following reports that some of its personnel, including senior officers, “illegally” sold their personal weapons to arms dealers in Rajasthan who, in turn, allegedly sold them to civilians, including some anti-social elements.

The Army Headquarters here received a communication from the Rajasthan government that said there were cases of sale of ‘Non Service Pattern’ (NSP) weapons. The inquiry has been ordered by the Jaipur-based Army Command.

Two officials suspended

The report, quoting a Rajasthan police officer, said most of the weapons were of foreign make and sold in the grey market.

The alleged illegal trade came to light during an inquiry by the State administration into the arms licences issued by officials. Two officials are reported to have been suspended.

Army officials here said the weapons, which had become obsolescent and phased out, were classified as NSP weapons. These weapons were sold at government approved rates to all ranks.

An Army man, however, could get only one NSP weapon after procuring a valid arms licence.

Once acquired, laws that were applicable for disposal of any other moveable property governed their retention and disposal.

The provisions of the Indian Arms Act were strictly applicable for all citizens. Weapons could be sold to a legitimate buyer who had a valid arms licence. Also, his antecedents had to be verified as per the civil laws, the officials said.

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