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Guv dismisses criticism of his 'political' remarks

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Jammu, Feb 11: Governor Satya Pal Malik has dismissed the criticism by the PDP and the NC over his "political" statements, saying he was presenting the viewpoint of the "President's government in New Delhi".

Last week, Malik rejected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti's demand for action against an Army officer accused of torturing and threatening a civilian, saying she didn't need to be taken seriously and that he stood by the government forces.

Objecting to his remarks, the PDP and the National Conference had accused the Governor of "taking sides brazenly" and "unnecessary interference in politics" respectively.

"Is the Governor's House only meant for playing golf all the time? The Governor's House is the representative of the President and there is President's government in New Delhi… I represent that government and I have to put forth its viewpoint," Malik told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Reasi district's Katra township.

"If you abuse the (central) government on a daily basis, somebody has to reply. I am doing only that. I am not only the governor but the chief minister as well," he said.

On February 05, Mufti had demanded that the Governor and the Army chief to take action against one Major Shukla, who allegedly tortured a Pulwama resident, Tauseef Wani, at the Shadimarg camp of the force and threatened to kill him in an encounter.

Malik responded the next day, saying he would not allow such statements to demoralise the government forces. He alleged the PDP chief's demand was aimed at gaining public support ahead of the upcoming State Assembly elections.

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