The ruling National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday threatened former Army Chief General V K Singh with a defamation suit if he failed to name the ministers, who he alleged had been receiving money from the Army.
The party has launched an all out war against Singh and has assigned three top leaders for the face saving exercise.
The party’s provincial president for Kashmir region, Nasir Aslam Wani, during a press conference, displayed a press release signed by the incumbent and former ministers of the party, urging Singh to reveal names of those ministers who received money from the Army.
“We have never ever compromised on the integrity of the offices we have held and have never received any money from the Army as alleged by the General. Hence, Singh’s generalised remarks are absurd and far from any truth,” Nasir read from the joint statement.
Wani said that if Singh didn’t come out with facts, “we all will deem his accusations and allegations as defamation with malafide and malicious intent and hence we will be compelled to take legal course of action”.
Singh on Monday claimed that the J&K ministers receiving money from the Army was a norm since Independence.
“Army transfers money to all the ministers in Jammu and Kashmir. .. Because there are various things to be done and ministers have to do many things as part of the stabilising factor in the state,” he told a TV news channel.
Singh’s remark has snowballed into a huge controversy in Kashmir, as separatist leaders have raised their voices about the Army’s ‘interference’ in Kashmir affairs, while the Opposition has focused its attention on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s inaction against tainted agriculture minister Ghulam Hassan Mir, who was named in the secret report.
Chairman of the moderate faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was quick to attack the government.
Mirwaiz said Singh’s statement has completely undermined the legitimacy of successive representative governments in J&K since 1947.
“It is now clear that whosoever was installed by New Delhi to rule the state right from Sheikh Abdullah to the present day, had to be hand in glove with the Army establishment, in fact had to follow their diktat, and further their objective and agenda.” Kashmir’s chief cleric said.