‘Killing not linked to security withdrawal’
SRINAGAR, May 6: Appealing political parties to reach out to electorate and make them understand the power of their votes, Governor Satya Pal Malik today asserted that neither gun, nor strike but voting is the ultimate weapon of people to make necessary changes.
“I would like to appeal to all political parties to join hands with us so that we can together reach out to the people and make them understand that voting is their ultimate weapon. Neither gun and nor strike. Let us ask them to make taking part in electoral process a habit to make changes,” Malik told reporters after taking the ceremonial salute and the traditional ‘Guard of Honour’ in the lawns of Civil Secretariat, which reopened in the summer capital, Srinagar, today.
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Meanwhile, refusing to answer a question about the reasons given by the Governor administration to defer the J&K Assembly elections till November, Malik said the report given to the Election Commission (EC) is secret and can’t be shared.
However, he said ultimately it is up to the EC to hold state elections in J&K. “If they (ECI) want to hold election in the State, they can,” he said.
“Let’s first complete Lok Sabha elections properly then we will think about Assembly election and the dates of holding the State polls can only be given by the EC,” he added.
The Governor said that the militants have resorted to targeted killing of political workers and leaders after they failed to disrupt Panchayat election in the State. “They (militants) tried to disrupt Panchayat elections in the State but failed. So that’s why they have resorted to target killings,” he added.
Answering a question, the Governor said despite minor incidents of violence, people have come out to exercise their franchise in the Lok Sabha elections.
Talking about action taken by the Governor administration on corruption, he said probe on irregularities in Group Mediclaim Health Insurance Scheme for Government employees is going on. “The irregularities in recruitment in J&K Bank have been fixed and 580 deserving candidates have received their appointment letters,” he added.
Asserting that assassination of BJP leader by unidentified gunmen in South Kashmir on Saturday should not be linked to withdrawal of security from politicians, said that militants have resorted to target killing after they failed to create problems during Panchayat elections.
However, Malik said he has directed Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam to get an inquiry conducted into the killings of political people belonging to various political parties in the State during the last few months.
“The martyred leader (Gull Mohammad Mir) was a very senior party activist. And it is very unfortunate that he was killed, but linking it with security withdrawal is completely incorrect because he was never a categorised person. Neither was his security withdrawn. Rumours are being spread in this regard,” Mr Malik said.
Mir was fired upon by gunmen at Nowgam Verinag in Anantnag on Saturday night.
“But, having said that, I have asked the Chief Secretary to initiate an inquiry to find out if any of the killings of political workers in the last few months was because of the withdrawal of security. The inquiry will identifying any lapses on the part of security agencies regarding ensuring security of political people,” he said.
The Governor said a meeting will be called in the next couple of days to review the finding of the inquiry and decide according about the security withdrawal decision.
“I have emphasised that from now onwards, not only all political leaders and workers, all citizens should be protected at every cost,” he added.
Answering a question about violence in South Kashmir during the last couple of days, the Governor said despite this, people have come out to exercise their franchise in the Lok Sabha elections.
Malik said that the militants have resorted to target killing of political workers and leaders after they failed to disrupt Panchayat election in the State. “They (militants) tried to disrupt Panchayat elections in the State but failed. So that’s why they have resorted to target killings,” he added.