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Neither azaadi nor autonomy possible, says J&K Governor

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik addresses a press conference in Srinagar on June 12, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said the ruling elite involved in corruption in the State “will face action soon”.

Speaking at a press conference on the achievements of his government, the Governor said corruption in the State was more than in any other part of the country. “There were two major cases of corruption, involving ₹150 crore each. I apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and got many deals cancelled where middlemen were offering kickbacks. Many powerful people, with access to the PM, were involved in it. Ruling elite in J&K has been a part of the corruption. You will hear big news soon involving former Ministers,” he said. 

He also asked the youth to give up arms as “neither azaadi (independence) nor autonomy was possible”. “People of J&K were never told the truth by the leadership. Political parties exploited the people in the name of autonomy, azaadi etc. Neither autonomy nor azaadi is possible,” he said. “Now, in the name of janaat (heaven), radicalised youth are being exploited.”

“Kashmir is also a heaven, nurture it first. The Islamic State (IS) ideology has already been defeated where it started. The shelf life of militancy is short,” he added.

Mr. Malik asked armed youth to lay down arms and “join me for dinner”.

“I will hold a dialogue with them (militants) on futility of violence. No violence can make India bend. Only dialogue can win hearts. We are open for that,” said Mr. Malik.

Mr. Malik was flanked by Chief Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam and other advisers.

Without naming the National Conference (NC) or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Malik said local parties “parrot the separatists and need to draw a line”. He also questioned the regional parties’ representative character, citing the 2% turnout in the Bijbehara Assembly segment recently. The segment is the hometown of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

Asked about Pakistan’s role in Kashmir, Mr. Malik said the neighbouring country is itself in trouble.

“There is a realisation (in Pakistan) there that we cannot fool the youth of Kashmir for too long (saying) that we will break India to give you something. (Gen Pervez) Musharraf had told the (Kashmiri) leaders here that he cannot do it as India is a superpower,” he said.

“Whatever you want to get, take it within this system. There is demoralisation and fatigue factor in Pakistan, but still they do not give up, camps are running there as earlier,” he said.

The Governor also dispelled rumours on reported delimitation in the State ahead of Assembly polls or abrogation of Article 35(A) or Article 370. “Delimitation is a rumour. People should not worry as there was no threat to the Articles,” he said.

Action on J&K Bank 

On the issue of raids on the J&K Bank, Chief Secretary Subrahmanyam said action was taken after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expressed concerns over the governance of the bank. 

“There were pending issues flagged by the RBI. We were forced to remove the chief managing director (CMD) of the bank. We are constituting the best search committee to suggest good people as CMD. The bank is shining glory of the State,” he said.

He clarified that the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s recent raids on the bank “were related to the old complaints of irregularities and not the recent selections”.

“There is a written registry on whose recommendations people were appointed. A bank is not an employment agency. It’s fundamentally a custodian of peoples money. It’s not a charity institution. It had moved away from it (mandate),” said the officer.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 3:51:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ruling-elite-in-jk-will-face-action-soon-says-governor-satya-pal-malik/article27859345.ece

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