Srinagar: This year’s list of Padma awardees includes a surrendered Kashmiri militant and counter-insurgent against whom cases of extortion and attempted murder are pending. The man, Ghulam Mohammed Mir, has been honoured with a Padma Shri for public service. He runs a band-saw business in his native Magam in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, and is widely known by the nickname Muma Kana.
The Jammu and Kashmir government took several days to trace the awardee. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he did not think that his government had recommended Mir for the Padma.
“I don’t remember recommending his name,” Omar told The Indian Express. “At times, there are individual recommendations or the Government of India checks the credentials of a prospective awardee directly. I will check tomorrow,” the Chief Minister said.
Mir has been a known counter-insurgent who ran an illegal private militia in central Kashmir after surrendering before the security forces. Sources in the police said he was considered a major asset for the security establishment during the peak years of militancy, alongside counter-insurgents like Kuka Parray, Javaid Shah and Naba Azad.