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Killing of political activists not linked with security withdrawal: Guv

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Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, May 06: Governor Satya Pal Malik Monday said it was wrong to link the withdrawal of security from certain people with the killing of political activists by militants in the Valley.

He was addressing a press conference at the civil secretariat here, which reopened on Monday after functioning in winter capital Jammu for six months as part of the nearly 150-year-old practice of 'Darbar Move'.

When asked that BJP's district vice-president for Anantnag, Gul Mohammad Mir, who was killed by militants on Saturday, became a “soft target” as his security had been withdrawn, Malik said certain quarters were spreading "rumours" that the killing took place due to the withdrawal of security.

"This is disinformation, he (Mir) was never categorised. I regret (the killing). There have been some other killings recently which are unfortunate, but it is totally wrong to link them with security withdrawal because the persons were never categorised and no security was withdrawn from them.

"It is a rumour which has been spread and that is why I said the chief secretary will see if security withdrawal played any part in these killings or not," he said.

Malik on Sunday had ordered an inquiry into the killings of political activists belonging to various parties in the state in the last few months.

The Governor had asked Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam for identifying any lapses on the part of security agencies regarding ensuring security of political people.

Malik also said a high-level meeting would be called to review the safety and security aspects of all political leaders and sarpanches in the state.

Asked about incidents of violence during polls in south Kashmir, Malik said, "Despite that, people are coming out to vote and voting is going on."

The Governor also said the Election Commission of India will take a call regarding the conduct of the Assembly polls in the state.

“It is not my domain,” he added.

Claiming that his administration was alive to the problems of the people, Malik said, "The kind of development that has taken place in the last seven months, has not been done in years in the past…We are alive to every problem. My phone is on 24 hours and I take calls or messages myself, which no one had done before!"

BJP blames withdrawal of security for Mir's killing, stages protest

Jammu, May 06: The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP Monday staged a protest here against the recent killing of its senior leader Gul Mohammad Mir by militants and sought adequate security to political workers facing threat.

Led by state party president Ravinder Raina, scores of BJP leaders and workers assembled outside the Press Club here to protest against the killing.

Mir was shot dead by militants in his house at Nowgam-Verinag in Anantnag district of south Kashmir late Saturday night.

Raina said despite facing a threat to his life, the security of Mir was withdrawn about three months ago leaving him vulnerable to attack by militants.

"We seek intervention of President Ram Nath Kovind to restore the security of all political activists facing threat to their lives, irrespective of their political affiliation, forthwith," he said.

Former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said the State administration was equally responsible for the killing of Mir because his security was withdrawn.

"An inquiry has been ordered and the administration should identify the person who deliberately withdrew his security and he should not be spared," Gupta said. (PTI)

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