Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday said the militants were unnecessarily killing their own people and if they have to kill any one it should be those who have looted the wealth of Kashmir.
“These boys (militants) who are roaming with guns are unnecessarily killing own people, Special Police Officials (SPOs) and Personal Security Officials (PSOs),” Malik said at the inauguration of Kargil and Ladakh Tourism Festival 2019 at Khree Sultan Choo Sports Stadium in Kargil. “Kill those who have looted your country, who have looted all the wealth of your Kashmir. Have you killed any one of them yet?”
Though Malik was only trying to emphasise how corruption had accentuated the crisis in Kashmir, the remarks may not go well with most of the civil society.
Malik guaranteed that as long as he is in J&K, the corrupt would be brought to book. Calling the corrupt as “big fish”, he said soon two to three of them, who have been ministers, would be called to account.
“I know many officers, those who have retired, all have houses in Maharani Bagh and Vasant Kunj,” he said. “If I had the power, I would initiate action against them, send them to jail and recover the looted money.”
Malik said there is poverty in Ladakh and Kargil. He added that in Srinagar he cannot understand what the people were doing to survive in downtown, which is the oldest part of the city.
“The families who have set Kashmir ablaze, there is no limit to their wealth,” he said. “They have one house here, another in Delhi, Dubai, and London, and at all places in the world.”
Malik said when one enquires about a big hotel in Srinagar, it turns out that a politician has a share in it. Another politician is a partner in another building. He said the public should also exert pressure on the corrupt.
Malik cited the cases of Wular Lake and Dal Lake, and said he had warned the secretary that he better leave if the work is not completed on time.
The governor said during his recent visit to Amarnath, he found the ones who ferry the yatris on ponies to the cave from Pahalgam were without sweaters, but in Srinagar there are houses with 15 to 20 rooms with carpets worth crores.
Malik said the militants are sacrificing their lives for nothing. “Guns will not resolve anything because no government in India would submit to guns,” he said. “LTTE was considered the most powerful militant outfit in the world, but it has been finished. You cannot fight the government this way.”
Criticising the mainstream politicians, Malik said they frighten the separatists in Delhi and encourage them in Kashmir. “Why this double stand. Stick to one thing,” he added.
Calling the militants as kids, Malik said they now number only between 200 to 250. “The Pakistanis take two days to die in an encounter while locals die in two hours as they are not even properly trained,” he said. “They have been made to understand that neither aazadi nor autonomy will come.”
Malik pointed out that the situation in J&K is changing. “For the first time in 30 years, when the home minister came to Kashmir, there was no strike call given by the Hurriyat,” he said. “Recently, when I talked about bringing back Kashmiri Brahmins(pandits), I was very happy that the Hurriyat chief supported the move and said he also believes they should come back.”