Supporting militants ahead of elections Mehbooba’s political compulsion: Governor
Warns of action if any woman harassed
Jammu, Dec 31: A day after she warned the government of “dire consequences” over alleged harassment of militants’ family members, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday said that “supporting militants has become a political compulsion” for the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.
Mehbooba Mufti had on Sunday warned the Governor and the state police against the alleged harassment of a Pulwama woman (whose brother happens to be a militant), her husband and brother in police custody at a Jammu police station.
Addressing media here on the sidelines of a function, Governor Malik said, “Since I am Governor, I don’t feel bad about what Mehbooba said about me the previous day. Moreover, she is daughter of my friend (Mufti Sayeed), I don’t take her words seriously. But, I personally feel that it is her (Mehbooba’s) political compulsion to support militants to regain the lost base in Valley.”
The Governor also said, “We’ve directed our forces not to harass family members of militants. We don’t have any issue with the militants’ families. At the same time, I want to assure her (Mehbooba) that if any family member of the militants has been harassed in custody, I will order a high level probe into it.”
Meanwhile, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday warned of action if the woman relatives of any militant were harassed by the police.
“It has been widely reported in media that three close relatives of a militant were allegedly arrested and harassed by the J&K Police. It has also been alleged that the clothes of lady, who was one of the persons arrested, were also torn,” an official statement issued on behalf of Governor said.
He said there are standing general and specific instructions that have been issued to all police officers and staff on not harassing families of militants.
“This is being followed meticulously in most circumstances. However, there could be a situation where a few relatives of a militant are questioned by police under due process of law so as to obtain details of a militant’s whereabouts. This is done very rarely and only on the basis of specific information,” statement quoted Governor Malik as saying.
Referring to the Patipora Pulwama incident, Malik said, “In this particular incident, which relates to residents of Patipora in Pulwama district, it is clarified that none of the persons were questioned in Pulwama. They were questioned in Jammu district based on very specific intelligence inputs.”
Governor Malik said that he was informed that there has been no tearing up of a lady’s clothes or her being harassed by the police.
“I once again reiterate that all police officers and staff will be directed not to harass ladies who happen to be relatives of militants or treat them in any unbecoming manner. Any questioning should be done as per normal practice only in the presence of a lady constable,” he said.
He also requested political parties to understand the fragile security situation in parts of Jammu and Kashmir and not to upset this through “motivated statements and false allegations”.
“This will only demoralize a hard-working police force,” he said, adding, “I will also direct IG Police, Kashmir to look into this incident to see whether the lady has been harassed or her clothes have been torn as is being alleged. If necessary, action will be taken against any police staff found acting wrongly.”