Jagmohan's letter to Rajiv Gandhi on Kashmir: ‘Congress displayed total mental surrender’

Part-2 of former J&K Governor’s letter to Rajiv Gandhi, written in April 1990, wherein he points to instances of complete abdication of duty by top bureaucrats and policemen in the valley.

Published: 17th August 2019 11:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2019 12:06 PM   |  A+A-

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan and Ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. (Photo| EPS/PTI)

With regard to the conditions prevailing before and after my arrival on the scene, you and your collaborators have been perverting reality. The truth is that before the imposition of Governor’s rule on January 19, 1990, there was a total mental surrender. Even prior to the day (December 8, 1989) of Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed’s kidnapping, when the eagle of terrorism swooped on the state with full fury, 1600 violent incidents, including 351 bomb blasts had taken place in eleven months. Then between January 1 and January 19, 1990, there were as many as 319 violent acts - 21 armed attacks, 114 bomb blasts, 112 arsons, and 72 incidents of mob violence.

You, perhaps, never cared to know that all the components of the power structure had been virtually taken over by the subversives. For example, when Shabir Ahmed Shah was arrested in September 1989 on the Intelligence Bureau’s tip-off, Srinagar Deputy Commissioner flatly refused to sign the warrant of detention. Anantnag Deputy Commissioner adopted the same attitude. The Advocate-General did not appear before the Court to represent the state case. He tried to pass on the responsibility to the Additional Advocate General and the Government council. They, too, did not appear.

PART 1 of Jagmohan's letter: Potatoes one day, the Pope the next

Do you not remember what happened on the day of Lok Sabha poll in November 22, 1989 ? In a translating gesture, TV sets were placed near some of the polling booths with placards reading “anyone who will cast his vote will get this.” No one in the administration of Dr. Farooq Abdullah took any step to remove such symbols of defiance of authority.

Let me remind you that Sopore is the hometown of Gulam Rasool Kar, who was at that time a Cabinet Minister in the State Government. It is also the home town of the Chairman of the Legislative Council, Habibullah, and also of the former National Conference MP and Cabinet Minister, Abdul Shah Vakil. Yet only five votes were cast in Sopore town. In Pattan, an area supposedly under the influence of Iftikar Hussain Ansari, the then Congress (I) Minister, not a single vote was cast. Such was the commitment and standing of your leaders and collaborators in the State. And you still thought that subversion and terrorism could be fought with such political and administrative instruments.


Around that point of time, when the police set-up was getting demoralised, when intelligence was fast drying up, when infiltrators in Services were bringing stories of subversive plans like TOPAC, your protégé Dr Farooq Abdullah was either going abroad or releasing 70 hardcore and highly motivated terrorists who were trained in the handling of dangerous weapons, who had contacts at the highest level in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, who knew all the devious routes of going to and returning from Pakistan and whose detention had been approved by the three-member advisory board presided over by the Chief Justice.

Their simultaneous release enabled them to occupy key positions in the network of subversion and terrorism and to complete the chain which took them again to Pakistan to bring arms to indulge in killings and kidnappings and other acts of terrorism. One of the released persons Mohd. Daud Khan of Ganderbal became the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of a terrorist outfit, Al-Bakar, and took a leading part in organising a force of 2,500 Kashmiri youths. Who is to be blamed for all the subsequent heinous crimes committed by these released 70 terrorists? I would leave this question to be answered by the people to whom you are talking about the “Jagmohan Factor.”

PART 3 of Jagmohan's letter: 'Article 370 skins the poor, helps parasites'

The truth supported by the preponderence of evidence is that before January 19, 1990, the terrorist had become the real ruler. The ground had been yielded to him to such an extent that it dominated the public mind. He could virtually swim like a fish in the sea. Would it matter if the sea was subsequently surrounded?

In your attempt to hide all your sins of omission and commission in Kashmir and as a part of your small politics which cannot go beyond dividing people and creating vote banks, you took special pains to demolish all regard and respect which the Kashmiri masses, including the Muslim youth, had developed for me during my first term from April 26, 1984, to July 12, 1989. Against all facts, unassailable evidence and your own precious pronouncements, you started labelling me as anti-Muslim.

May I, in this connection, also invite your attention to three of the important suggestions made in my book, Rebuilding Shahjahanabad: The Walled City of Delhi. One pertained to the creation of the green velvet between Jama Masjid and Red Fort; the second to the construction of a road linking Parliament House with the Jama Masjid complex, and the third to the setting up of a second Shahajhanabad in the Mata Sundawri road-Minto road complex, reflecting the synthetic culture of the city, its traditional as well as its modern texture. Could such suggestions, I ask you, come of an anti-Muslim mind?


How you and your associates use the forum of Parliament to undermine my standing amongst the Kashmiri Muslims was evident from what N.KP. Salve, MP did in the Rajya Sabha on May 25, 1990.
Referring to the so called interview to the Bombay Weekly, THE CURRENT – an interview which I never gave - Salve chose wholly unjustified expressions; “There was a patent and palpable attitude of very disconcerting communal bias and, therefore, he (Governor) was happy under the garb of eliminating the terrorist, the saboteurs and the culprits, in eliminating the whole community as it were; now the Governor has himself given profuse and unabashed vent to his malicious malignity, hate and extreme dislike, branding every member of a particular community as a militant”.

I know Salve. I do not think that if left to himself he would have done what he did. Clearly, he was goaded to say something which was against his training and background. But the elementary precaution which any jurist, at least a jurist of Salve’s eminence would have taken, was to first check whether any such interview had been given by me, and if so, whether the remarks attributed to me were actually made. The unseemly haste was itself revealing. The issue was raised on May 25, while the weekly was dated May 26 June 2, 1990. You yourself rushed a letter to the President on May 25, on the basis of the interview that in reality did not exist. You explained that VP Singh had appointed a person with rabid communalist opinion as Governor. You also got your letter widely published on May 25.  

(To be continued)


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  • Sudish Puthalat

    Unpalatable to cong
    1 year ago reply
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