J-K Govt distances from Padma award to Ghulam Mohd Mir
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 02, 2010, 19:51
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Government on Tuesday sought to distance itself from the Padma Shri award to Ghulam Mohammed Mir, a former militant, who said he deserved the award on the basis of his anti-militancy operations during the crucial period in the state.

As a controversy raged over the selection of the counter-insurgent, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said "I am not aware of the state government making any recommendations. There is unfortunately a lot of controversy over this year's award.

"We had made some recommendations including that of Rukhsana for bravery. But this is not our recommendation," Omar told reporters here.

The Chief said "it is possible that the award has been done at a personal level."

However, sources in New Delhi said that Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, former BJP leader Harsh Vardhan had supported Mir for the award. Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and MLA Ghulam Hasan Mir had also written letters in 2008 favouring him for the award.

In the midst of this, Mir wonders why he was being dragged into a controversy. "My name has been mentioned in one FIR of a mine blast. The case has never been proved.

"But what I can prove with full documents is saving the lives of former minister Khemlata Wakhloo, former MP Mir Magami and two foreigners besides busting several militant hideouts," claims Mir whose house Central Kashmir is guarded by one full company (100 personnel) of CRPF.

Mir, whose brother and nephew were killed by militants as part of a revenge plan, said that the police certificate mentions that he had no role to play in militancy.

He said his son had been shot twice and "what is hurting is that today I stand as a culprit and am being asked questions as to what is my contribution to the country."

When contacted, Habibullah said he had supported his case for the Padma Shri as he had been a great support to him in his anti-militancy drive during his tenure as the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir.

Habibullah was the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir between February 1990 to June 1991 and second time between July to November 1993.

The CIC said that he had no issues in recommending his name because of the services rendered by him. "Rest, I believe we all make recommendations. There is always a proper background check done before giving the award," he added.

Mir also named Girsih Chander Saxena and several former Directors General of Police of the state who had acknowledged his services in fighting the militancy.

Harsh Vardhan also said he recommended his name on seeing his contribution in the battle against militancy.


First Published: Tuesday, February 02, 2010, 19:51

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