PM Modi, Doval silenced me on Pulwama attack lapses: Satya Pal Malik

When the interviewer asked the former Governor if the Prime Minister used the Pulwama issue for the sake of the general elections, Satyapal Malik just smiled. "Ha ya Na.. kuch nahi kar raha hu," he added.

Satya Pal Malik, the last Governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir who oversaw heightened times that include the abrogation of Article 370, stated in an interview that the Prime Minister squelched him by saying “tum abhi chup raho” when he as governor reported that the Centre’s own mistakes were to blame for the Pulwama massacre.

Malik also said that the Prime Minister is ‘ill-informed’ and ‘does not hate corruption very much’ in an interview with journalist Karan Thapar for The Wire news portal that was posted on Friday night.

Malik mentioned the bombing of the CRPF convoy in Pulwama in February 2019 which claimed the lives of 40 jawans and was turned into an election issue by the BJP in the interview.

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“CRPF members requested an aircraft to transport their members because such a sizable convoy seldom travels by road. They enquired the home ministry. They refused to give. They only required 5 aircraft, but they weren’t provided with any,” Malik said.

He recalled the Prime Minister calling him on the evening of February 14, 2019, from outside the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.

Tum abhi chup raho

“I told it to the PM the same evening. This is our fault. Had we given aircraft then this would not have happened. (To that), he told me, “Tum abhi chup raho….’ I had already said this to a couple of channels. He said, ‘Yeh sab mat bolo, yeh koi aur cheez hai. Hame bolne do….’

Malik also said that the National security advisor Ajit Doval also asked him to stay quiet. “Yeh sab mat boliye. Aap chup rahiye (Don’t say all this. Stay quiet)….’ Mujhe lag gaya tha ki ab yeh sara onus Pakistan ke taraf jana hai toh ‘chup rahiye’ (I felt that the onus would now be shifted to Pakistan, so ‘stay quiet’),” Malik said.

He said that none of the link roads to the highway where the convoy was travelling had been blocked, blaming the CRPF and the Union home ministry.

Pulwama attack is ‘100 per cent intelligence failure’

“It was 100% an intelligence failure,” the former governor stated. He further stated that the vehicle that crashed into the convoy was travelling through the nearby villages for 10–12 days prior to the explosion while carrying an estimated 300kg of explosives without being seen.

He claimed that even though Pakistan was the only place where such a massive amount of explosives could have arrived, the deaths were due to these security failings.

When the interviewer asked the former Governor if the Prime Minister used the Pulwama issue for the sake of the general elections, Satyapal Malik just smiled. “Ha ya Na.. kuch nahi kar raha hu,” he added.

Malik stated that while not being informed beforehand of the Modi administration’s intention to revoke the state’s special status, he was aware of it because it had been discussed and was on the agenda.

“Just a day before (the abrogation of special status under Article 370), I got a call from the home minister saying he was sending me a letter that I needed to get passed by the committee and send by 11 a.m. the next day,” Malik explained.

On Ladakh

He first said that he was against the division of Ladakh into a separate union territory as it would ‘hurt sentiments’. But immediately, Malik appeared to change his mind on the subject.

“I was in some support of the division as I saw people of Ladakh feeling humiliated as they visited Srinagar and the bureaucracy ill-treated them. So division was fine keeping them in mind. But making the region a UT was wrong,” he added.

Malik further stated he found Modi ‘ill-informed’ during their conversations on Kashmir in 2018 after Modi had already been in power for four years.

‘PM doesn’t hate corruption very much’

Malik rehashed past claims of corruption in an insurance contract and a power project that he had halted as governor in the interview. In conjunction with his charges, he implicated a business, a former Jammu and Kashmir minister, and RSS leader Ram Madhav. For these claims, Ram Madhav has filed a defamation suit against Malik.

“I can safely say that the PM does not hate corruption very much,” Malik claimed, adding that he was relocated from Goa, where he was governor, a week after complaining to Modi about suspected corruption there.

However, he claimed that the Prime Minister had supported him when he stopped the ‘dodgy’ projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

Malik further stated that despite a recommendation for Z+ security and a residence for him due to an alleged danger from Pakistan, he is now protected by a single cop. “Sarkar chahti hai saale ko koi maar de,” he said when asked about the absence of protection.

‘No free and fair elections in Kashmir’

“If we could only work honestly in Kashmir. We never had free and fair elections there. We rigged the results. We don’t elicit trust because of these tricks,” he remarked.

Malik disputes Mehbooba Mufti’s charges

Malik disputed charges made by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti that he denied her an audience to lay a claim to lead the government when he dissolved the J&K Assembly in 2018.

“I was not in contact with him (Modi),” he explained. It was Eid and there was no one in my office to operate the fax machine or anything else. I was in Delhi at the time. I arrived at 4 p.m. My chief secretary and our intelligence head arrived and informed me that there is a majority and that if they submit the letter, I will administer the oath. But what exactly is the rule? Twitter is not where governments are formed,” he remarked.

“I dissolved the Assembly after 8 p.m,” Malik stated. “She had the entire day to herself. There are three flights every day between Srinagar and Jammu. We are heading to Delhi and will decide tomorrow,’ stated Farooq Abdullah Sahab’s party. Ghulam Nabi Azad has not said unequivocally that they will support it. Only Mehbooba stated that she had a majority. There was horse trading going on at a large scale. She herself had complained and demanded that the Assembly be dissolved soon, ‘Our MLAs are being poached, we are being pressurised’. Farooq himself used to complain..if they were incompetent, I am not responsible for that..Of course, she is lying. She never called me in that period of time,” he added.

On Adani Hindenburg row

“It’s (the Adani-Hindenburg scandal) an election issue. If they (the Modi government) do not improve, the Adani (row) will destroy them. If the opposition has a one-on-one debate, they (the Modi government) will not be rescued. He (the PM) couldn’t say anything in his defence,” Malik remarked.

Malik remarked that the Adani-Hindenburg row would be to the Modi government’s detriment if the opposition comes together for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.


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