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Why kill innocents; target those who have looted Kashmir: Guv

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Srinagar, Jul 21: Governor Satya Pal Malik Sunday asked militants to stop killing innocent people, including security personnel, and rather target “those who have looted the wealth of Kashmir for years”.

“These boys who have picked up guns are needlessly killing their own people, they are killing PSOs (personal security officers) and SPOs (special police officers). Why are you killing them? Kill those who have looted the wealth of Kashmir. Have you killed any of them?” Malik asked while speaking at a tourism function in Kargil district of Ladakh region.

However, the Governor was quick to add that guns could never be the solution and cited the example of LTTE in Sri Lanka.

“The government of India will never go down before a gun,” he said, asking the militants to not take the route of violence.

Taking a veiled dig at mainstream politicians, he said these leaders talk a different language in Delhi and different one in Kashmir.

“They should speak in one language at both places and need not scare us,” he said.

He also regretted that besides the corruption official inertia was one of the reasons for the problems of the state and went on to cite the examples of inordinate delays even in the making of detailed project reports (DPR) for various projects.

He said though he himself has been fighting against this official lethargy but public pressure is also needed to make things work.

He said the biggest problem facing the state is corruption.

Governor Malik said he is personal witness to the abject poverty of people in certain areas of Kashmir including in Srinagar downtown, but then there are certain people – the political and bureaucratic elite — who have amassed huge wealth through corruption.

“There are a few families who have been running the affairs of Kashmir who are in possession of limitless wealth. They have homes in Srinagar, and in Delhi and Dubai, and in London and in various other places across the world. There is a big hotel in Srinagar, and I am told that a political family here has a share in it. Similarly some other politician has a stake in some other building. While these people have thrived by usurping the money meant for the common people, the latter have been reeling in poverty,” Malik said while pledging that he would go against the corrupt politicians and hold them accountable.

“I promise you that as long as I am here, with your support I will catch these big crocs and sharks (of corruption) and hold them to account. In next few months, I assure you that you will find a few of these big fish – those who have been ministers — held to account,” Governor said.

The Governor was speaking at the inauguration of Kargil Ladakh Tourism Festival-2019 at Khree Sultan Cho Sports Stadium Kargil.

The Governor said the twin districts of Kargil and Leh have huge tourism potential and said more such tourism festivals were needed.

He said the Kargil Airport’s expansion work will begin soon and that Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned for it. This will not only provide round-the-year connectivity but also give a new dimension to the tourism sector in the region, Malik said.

The Governor said the state administration is committed for the holistic development of Ladakh division and concrete measures were being pursued towards this goal.

The government is taking strict measures to bring transparency in the system and removing various bottlenecks in the path of progress, he added.

On the occasion, the Governor announced the establishment of two degree colleges in Kargil district, including a Women’s Degree College.

He said a 2,500-MW solar power project will be set up soon, augmenting the power generation in Kargil. (With PTI inputs)

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