The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a one-line resolution, asking the Centre on Monday to order a time-bound inquiry into former Army chief Gen (retd.) V.K. Singh’s statements that, according to the House, caused “unprecedented damage” to the credibility of democratic processes and institutions in the State since 1947.
Speaker Mubarak Gul allowed the 210-minute special discussion, while disposing of a bundle of motions from all political parties, even as he asserted that the ruling National Conference (NC) legislators’ breach of privilege notice against Gen. Singh would be decided on Tuesday.
In his reply to the discussion, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah disclosed that on September 25, when the Prime Minister was on a visit abroad, he had written and dispatched a letter to Dr. Singh and called for a credible investigation into what had appeared in the media about the functioning of the erstwhile Technical Support Division (TSD) coupled with the former Army chief’s revelations.
“As Chief Minister of the State, I realised it was my responsibility to seek an inquiry as the revelations were extremely serious in nature. This officer [Gen. Singh] was from Delhi. The leak was from the Centre. But, it is the mainstream politician in J&K whose neck has been put on the altar. I firmly believe that nobody has caused this kind of damage to the mainstream political institutions in Jammu and Kashmir since 1947,” Mr. Abdullah said. He complained that one of the General’s statements (“money has been transferred to J&K Ministers since 1947”) had maligned all Chief Ministers from Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah to Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad and himself.
“Let the Government of India hold an inquiry at least from 1990 till date. A credible, time-bound inquiry that would make everything crystal clear,” Mr. Abdullah said. He asserted that none of the mainstream politicians, irrespective of political affiliation, could face the electorate in the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the absence of a credible inquiry into the revelations and statements attributed to the former Army chief. According to him, Gen. Singh had not only discredited all the mainstream political leaders, including those who had sacrificed their lives for the country since 1990, but had also put the lives of the 33,000 unprotected panches and sarpanches into danger with his statements.
Mr. Abdullah disclosed that even before the TSD inquiry leaks in a newspaper, he had learned from an Army officer that his telephones had been spooked and houses bugged with interceptors. Gen. Singh was no more a representative of the Army. Some political parties were trying to shield him with their clamour that the Army was being demonised. “We all have the highest of regard and appreciation for the Army’s hard work in protecting our people from terrorism and guarding the borders while giving supreme sacrifices. We are critical of only the few men who do something wrong,” Mr. Abdullah said.
The House later passed the resolution unanimously.