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JK Assembly resolution asks Centre to probe VK Singh's charges

Last updated on: October 07, 2013 21:28 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Monday passed a unanimous resolution asking the Centre to conduct a thorough and time-bound probe into the charges levelled by former Army Chief V K Singh about political payoffs to mainstream politicians of the state.

The resolution was passed at the end of three and a half hour discussion on the allegations made by Gen Singh recently.

While concluding the discussion, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah proposed the one-line resolution for a thorough probe which was unanimously adopted by the house.

Omar said the mainstream political institutions were in danger and the allegations levelled by Gen (retd) Singh had caused unprecedented damage to these institutions.

"We are not responsible for this damage. It was your (Centre's) inquiry (into the functioning of Technical Services Division of Army). The leak took place from there (Delhi) but we are bearing the consequences," Omar said.

The chief minister said if the Centre really wants to do justice with the institution of mainstream politics, it should not dismiss these allegations.

"Right or wrong, we will wait for the outcome of the inquiry. We don't want to jump to the conclusion but there should be a time-bound probe that will bring out the facts.

There is no other way to restore the image of mainstream politicians among the people," he said.

Omar said the politicians of the state have to face the people of the state few months later in Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly polls.

"If we have to face the people with this stigma of V K Singh, then that might be the Centre's wish. As much as we would try to give explanations who will buy them," he said.

Omar said Gen (retd) Singh should reveal the names of the politicians who were paid the money.

"He should also say why the money was paid and how much was paid so that the finger of suspicion is removed from others," he said.

Omar said the MLAs present in the Assembly had come because people had voted them to victory in the elections.

"There are no conspiracies, we come here only after winning the elections. If there would have conspiracies neither we nor you would have lost in the elections," he said.

He said he had no personal grudge against the former Army Chief but there were differences over revocation of AFSPA during his tenure.

"But we conveyed those differences in a proper manner. The Army chief had changed now. Does that mean that the AFSPA has revoked?" he questioned.

The chief minister said he was told by a responsible Army officer that his phones were being tapped both at Jammu and Srinagar for which four phone tapping machines were installed.

"Two machines each were installed at Jammu and Srinagar but when the technical services division of the Army found about it, the equipments were destroyed and thrown into rivers. But I have no evidence of this," Omar said.

Omar claimed Gen (retd) Singh's statement about Army's role in the conduct of Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 2011 had put the lives of 33,000 panches and sarpanches at risk.

"Today he had brought the entire Panchayat system under the scanner. We are already unable to provide them proper security. If anyone of them is targeted who will be responsible for that," he said.

Ridiculing the former Army Chief's claim that organising Kashmir Premier League cricket tournament had brought peace in Kashmir, Omar said if that would have been the case, first prime minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru, would have organised two cricket matches here and the issue would have been resolved.

"You can organise as many cricket tournaments as you like but that is not going to solve the problem," he said.

Speaking against Singh does not mean speaking against the Army, he had made allegations as a private citizen and not as an Army chief.

Without naming Leader of Opposition Mehbooba Mufti, Omar hit out at her saying listening to the first speech on the allegations leveled by Gen(retd) Singh, he felt that he had prepared for wrong discussion.

"The political issues will be responded to in the political field. If you refer to 1984 I will raise 1987. If you talk about 1996, we will talk about 1990," he said.

Initiating the debate on the issue, Mehbooba said it was time for changing the mindset in Delhi with regard to Jammu and Kashmir.

"The Delhi establishment has to rethink so that the democratic process in the state is not discredited. We should also think what should we do that Delhi also believes us that we will not make another U-turn," the PDP leader said.

Without naming National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Mehbooba said he sought people's support for accession to India on the grounds that it was a secular and a democratic country in 1947.

"What changed that his government was dismissed (in 1953)? Why did he start the plebiscite movement after he was removed from power? What did he gain in 1975 after entering into accord with Delhi? Delhi is scared of any leader's popularity in Kashmir," she claimed.

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