Mandated by PM to create conditions for talks: Malik

‘Militants who killed BJP leader identified’
Rohingyas’ profiling to be completed in 2 months

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Nov 5: Governor Satya Pal Malik said today that he has been mandated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create conducive conditions for talks and hopefully the results will start pouring in after four to six months even as he asserted that militancy, recruitment of youth into militant ranks and incidents of stone pelting have gone down considerably during past few months. Click here to watch video
Malik disclosed that militants responsible for the killings of prominent BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar have been identified and a breakthrough will be achieved in the case shortly.
He said the mentors of militants sitting across the border were frustrated by peaceful elections to the Urban Local Bodies and were directing their cadre to indulge in violence.
Addressing a press conference after re-opening of Civil Secretariat, the seat of the Government, in Jammu, the winter capital of the State, Malik said he will try to create an atmosphere for holding talks with stakeholders in the next four to six months.
“I carry a mandate of (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi to reach out to the people, make yourself available to them, do their work, ensure development of the State and create an atmosphere in which talks can be held,” he said.
“If you (media) will give us for four to six months, we will try to create an atmosphere in which talks can be held,” he said, reiterating that solution will emerge through talks and not gun.
Malik said the militancy-related incidents and stone pelting have come down since he took over and there was report of only single youth’s recruitment in the militant cadre and that too from Ghaziabad (in Uttar Pradesh), which too is not sure.
“I’ve been addressing the issues honestly,’’ he asserted.
“Our policy is yielding good results. Stone pelting and militancy-related incidents have stopped. Elections to the civic bodies were held peacefully. Not even a sparrow was killed,’’ the Governor said, adding that the Government wouldn’t allow upcoming Panchayat elections to be disturbed by the militants.
Malik said terrorism exists in the mind and it has to be tackled at the roots.
“Terrorism exists in the mind and it is there that we must fight it,” he added.
Asked whether he had failed to bring two regional political parties — the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) — on board for participating in the civic polls, the Governor said they have realised their mistake and will be taking part in the Panchayat polls indirectly.
Without naming the two parties (National Conference and PDP), the Governor said they had participated in Kargil elections (Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil), just before the Urban Local Bodies polls.
“They (the two parties) felt that they were at loss (by not participating in the elections) and all of them were now (indirectly) participating in the elections (which are being held on non-party basis. For one seat, there are more than three candidates,’’ he added.
When asked about the challenges in conducting the Panchayat elections, Malik said that living in Jammu and Kashmir and being the Governor of the State itself was a challenge.
“But we will manage these elections as well. The weather has to stay stable and we will tackle militancy. We are not going to allow militancy to hamper democratic process,” he said.
Replying to a question on illegal settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu, he said the biometric details of Rohingya refugees in the Jammu region will be collected within two months.
It may be mentioned here that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had ordered complete profiling of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis across the country including Jammu and Kashmir and directed the State Government to complete the process. Once the profiling is completed, the Centre proposed to take up the issue of deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis nationals with their respective countries.
Replying to another question on the killing of BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar by the militants in Kishtwar town on Thursday night, Malik disclosed that the attackers involved in the killings have been identified and will be brought before the people soon.
“It was a terrorist attack and they (attackers) will soon be in front of you,” he said.
He said the acts of violence and terror were being committed out of sheer frustration because the four-phase local body elections were conducted peacefully.
“Their (terrorists’) mentors across the border (in Pakistan) are not comfortable with the peaceful conduct of the local body elections and hence militants are being pushed for terror activities,” the Governor said.
He pointed out that in the previous elections, 40 to 50 people used to be killed. Even nine persons were killed in Parliamentary by-poll in Srinagar last year, he recalled.
Anil Parihar, 52, and his brother Ajit Parihar, 55, were returning home after closing their stationery shop late on Thursday when two unidentified suspected militants shot them at point-blank range in Kishtwar town. The killings, ahead of the Panchayat elections starting November 17, triggered angry protests in the communally sensitive district.
The Governor also said his first visit will be to the border areas to listen to the grievances of the villagers of Jammu region, who could not cultivate their crops due to hostilities from Pakistan.
“I keep sharing their issues with Union Home Minister (Rajnath Singh),” he added.
Malik announced that the Government will give compensation to the farmers who lost their crops due to snowfall in Kashmir.
He said authorities have started the process to assess the damage caused in Kashmir.
Jammu was not affected much, he added.
Untimely snowfall in Kashmir on Saturday had damaged apple crop worth crores of rupees with a large number of fruit-laden trees either uprooted or their stems broken, officials had said.
Kashmir also suffered a power outage due to the snowfall.
Electricity was restored in some parts of Kashmir on Sunday.
“The power supply in the remaining areas will be restored within two days,” Malik said.
Meanwhile, Civil Secretariat opened here on Monday after a 10-day break as part of the bi-annual ‘Darbar Move’.
Besides the Civil Secretariat, the other Move offices, including Raj Bhawan and Police Headquarters, also opened here after six months of functioning in Srinagar.
Malik inspected the traditional guard of honour at the Civil Secretariat.
The ‘Darbar Move’ was started by the then Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme heat during summers in Jammu and biting cold of winters in Srinagar.
The practice was continued by elected Governments post-independence to provide governance benefits — by turns — to both Kashmir and Jammu regions of the State for six months.
All necessary security and other arrangements have been made to ensure smooth functioning of the Government from here, officials said.
Advisors to Governor BB Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh received the Governor at the Civil Secretariat.