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J-K Govt distances from Padma award to Ghulam Mohd Mir

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 2, 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

"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 2, 2010 - 19:51
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