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Will try to make J&K a corruption free state: Gov Malik 

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Says, he should have avoided ‘militant remark … but anger; calls Omar 'political juvenile'

Srinagar, Jul 22: Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday expressed regret over his remark that militants should stop killing innocent people and target the corrupt, saying it was made in a “fit of anger and frustration”.

Malik said he should not have made the comment as constitutional head of the state but it did reflect his feelings and he will say the same thing when he is not Governor.

“It was in a fit of anger and frustration due to rampant corruption here. Wherever I dig, I find their corruption. I should not have made such comments as I am the constitutional head but what I said is my feeling on the issue. Once I am not the governor, I will still say the same thing. I am ready to face the consequences for it,” Malik told television channels.

Malik asserted that many politicians and bureaucrats are neck-deep in corruption and he had ordered an investigation in which two or three former ministers are being probed.

His “blood boils” at the levels of corruption in the state, Malik was quoted by PTI as saying over phone from Nubra in Ladakh region.

“As a governor I should have refrained from making such statements but it was purely out of anger. My blood boils at seeing the level of corruption in the state… where the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer.

“Today, I am the governor of the state and tomorrow I may be an ordinary citizen of this country. My views will not change. I can express my opinion as an individual about the level of malpractice in this state,” Malik, who is touring Kargil and Leh, added.

The Governor said the Crime Branch and the Anti-Corruption Bureau are investigating two or three former ministers.

“If they are found guilty, I will ensure that they are not spared. I will not see what party they belong to.

“I may not have adequate powers according to the state laws but I will not hesitate to seek special powers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I will go to every extent to make this a corruption-free state,” he said.

On Sunday, Malik stoked controversy during his address at a function in Kargil in Ladakh.

“These boys who have picked up guns are killing their own people, they are killing PSOs (personal security officer) 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 had asked.

On Monday, he said without taking names that some people have residences in Kashmir, Delhi and other parts of the country besides having a house in foreign nations as well as investment in shares and companies.

“Where has this money come from?” he asked.

His statement comes a few days after the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police questioned senior PDP leader Naeem Akhthar for his role in allotment of tenders as Public Works minister.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah was quick to respond to Malik’s Sunday remark.

“Save this tweet – after today any mainstream politician or serving/retired bureaucrat killed in J&K has been murdered on the express orders of the Governor of J&K Satyapal Malik,” Abdullah said on the microblogging site.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the Governor should check out his own reputation in Delhi before sanctioning unlawful killings.

“This man, ostensibly a responsible man occupying a constitutional position, tells militants to kill politicians perceived to be corrupt.

“Perhaps the man should find out about his own reputation in Delhi these days before sanctioning unlawful killings & kangaroo courts,” he said.

Reacting to Abdullah’s criticism, Malik said he did not wish to take any certificate from the former chief minister who he said is behaving like a political juvenile who tweets on everything.

“Ask the people about my reputation and his reputation as well. I am here because of my reputation in Delhi and you (Omar Abdullah) are, where you are right now, because of your reputation,” he said.

Malik said he neither had the name of his father or grandfather to fall back up on nor the wealth.

“I have come here from a one-and-half room house and I guarantee you that I will leave after exposing their corruption,” he added. (With PTI inputs)

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