‘Never gave jobs to terrorists’: Omar, Mehbooba lash out at LG’s remarks

| Updated: 21 March, 2023 11:43 am IST

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha’s recent allegations that previous governments in Jammu and Kashmir provided jobs to terrorists and their families and facilitated one lakh backdoor appointments has drawn sharp criticism from the valley’s politicians.

Jammu Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) Vice President and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday denied the allegations saying, “No terrorist was given government jobs by the previous Jammu and Kashmir dispensation.”

He also asserted that his party would not support any policy to punish relatives of terrorists as it is against natural justice.

“No terrorist was given a government job but we did not punish people because they were relatives of terrorists. Is it fair for me to punish you for the crime committed by your father or a son? Tomorrow, if God forbid a close relative of (Lt Governor) Manoj Sinha Sahab commits a crime, should he be sent to jail?” the former chief minister said.

“Natural justice is not that relatives are punished for the crimes of someone else. Nobody is advocating that hardcore militants should be given government jobs but it is also wrong to punish somebody just because they have the misfortune of being related to a terrorist,” he said.

“This is not the way to win the hearts and minds of the people. This is not something we will ever support.”

On Sinha’s statement that 47 employees were dismissed for anti-national activities, Omar Abdullah said, “I am not going into a war of words. If for lakhs of appointments, all you can find is a list of 47 then that is next to nothing.” he further commented.

Last week Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti also reacted sharply to LG Sinha’s remarks on the alleged recruitment of terrorists in government departments by the previous regimes, saying that “recruiting gangsters and mafias might be a culture in Uttar Pradesh but not in J&K”.

“LG Sinha is from Uttar Pradesh. He might be speaking from his experience in the UP,” Mufti had said.

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