Former Ministers, some bureaucrats will be in jail or on bail soon: Guv

‘Ex-Kashmir rulers have bungalows abroad, partnership in businesses’
Retd officers too have palatial houses in Delhi

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, July 21: Governor Satya Pal Malik today declared that at least two former Ministers and Secretaries will go to jail and said big fishes including two to three former Ministers would be running to secure bail in graft cases very soon.
Continuing his tirade against the politicians, Malik, without naming anyone, said those who have ruled Kashmir have no limit of money and have bungalows at Srinagar, New Delhi, Dubai and London and partnership in big hotels and big businesses while the common man of the State including that of downtown Srinagar, Leh and Kargil was living in extreme poverty.
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Addressing a function at the inauguration of ‘Kargil Festival’ in Kargil town this morning, the Governor said the militants should kill the corrupt persons who have looted the Kashmiris and not innocent PSOs and SPOs. He said only 250 militants were now left in the State and they can’t match strength of India by fighting the country.
“Inquiry is on in two big corruption deals in which big fishes were involved including two former Ministers and Secretaries. If proper inquiry is conducted, all of them will go to jail and the people will be happy,” Malik said.
“I assure you that within the next 2-3 months, the big fishes, who had been the Ministers, will be running to secure bail in the courts and then you (the people) will be clapping,” the Governor said, adding such was the height of corruption that in entire country there was 3 percent commission but in Kashmir it was 15 percent and it takes months for a file to move from one table to another. “Even after approval by me and the Chief Secretary in the SRO-43 appointment cases, the people were being charged Rs 1 lakh for just giving them the order,” he added.
“Had it been in my hands, I will sell illegally acquired property of corrupt people, take back their money, register cases against them, send them to jails and give their money to the poor people,” Malik said.
Referring to delay in preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Dal lake, he said he has asked the Secretary to prepare it within 15 days or proceed on leave. He added that there should be public pressure also on the corrupt people.
The Governor said several retired bureaucrats of Jammu and Kashmir, who had served in Forest and Public Health Engineering Departments owned palatial bungalows at Maharani Bagh and Vasant Kunj in New Delhi. Even in Kashmir, he said, many people have 15-20 room houses with carpets worth crores while the porters engaged in Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra even don’t have sweaters to wear.
Asserting that only few armed youths were killing innocent PSOs and SPOs, he said they should kill those who have looted the nation and the people’s wealth. “Have you killed them (the looters)? You are wasting your lives. None can force India to succumb through gun. The powerful militant outfit like LTTE of Sri Lanka was wiped out. You can’t fight the Government but through talks you can take everything,” he said addressing the militants and in a virtual appeal to them to shun violence.
Malik said only 250 militants were now left in Jammu and Kashmir and nearly half of them were Pakistanis.
“Some forces are instigating the youth telling them that they will go to heaven after death. While, they are promising ‘jannat’ (heaven) to the militants after their killing, I’m promising them ‘jannat’ in their life. Then why to get killed for `jannat’ by gun. Through talks you can take everything but with gun you will achieve nothing. Contribute in development of Kashmir. Jehangir had said Kashmir is the ‘jannat’ on earth. If you die as a good Muslim, you will go to the heaven,” he said.
Malik said situation is changing for better in Kashmir and it was after long time that no strike call was given during the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah in Srinagar.
The Governor promised equal treatment to Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh region.
Malik said the Government was committed to safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes. Even Hurriyat Conference chairman has endorsed the statement, he added.