Srinagar: While speaking at an event sponsored by Department of Tourism Jammu and Kashmir, the Governor Satya Pal Malik Thursday mentioned Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) controversy in his speech and announced to recruit liason officers at places where more than 12 Kashmiri students would be studying in India.
Referring to the recent AMU controversy regarding funeral prayers of scholar-turned- militant Manan Wani, the Governor said that he was the key player in revoking the suspension orders of the two students accused of offering Wani’s funeral prayers.
On October 11, with Wani’s killing, a controversy erupted at AMU after the Kashmiri students allegedly offered funeral prayers for him. Two scholars were suspended. The Kashmiri AMU scholars and students deny performing any prayers for Wani.
“Manan Wani, a terrorist was killed. His namaz e janaza were to be offered in the university. The wise man, Vice chancellor AMU had asked the kids to offer funeral prayers but inside the Masjid as it could have led to riots. Two kids did not listen. The proctorial board picked them up and suspended them. Daroga labeled them as anti-nationals,” he said.
He further said that the students threatened the varsity to leave the campus altogether on Sir Syed Day if the suspension orders of the two accused scholars were not revoked. “Imagine, if 1,200 Kashmiri students would have left AMU, what could have happened? What kind of message would have it delivered? I could not sleep that night,” he said.
‘After revocation of AMU suspension, 500 Kashmiri kids participated in National anthem, decided to participate in elections’
Adding, he said, “I made the authorities revoke the suspension. VC was kind enough to agree. As soon as it happened, you will be surprised to know, 500 Kashmiri kids participated in National anthem of India on Sir Syed Day. They have decided to participate in union elections. We will help them.”
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“Wherever, more than a dozen of Kashmiris are studying, we will recruit liason officers who will take care of the issues pertaining to them. They won’t be going to police stations or elsewhere. This is how Kashmir will get better.”
However, the event was narrated to Free Press Kashmir in a different way by one of the scholars who was suspended. Abdul Haseed, Indian Council for Historical Research Fellow at Centre for Advanced Studies of History, AMU who has been booked under sedition charges had said that no funeral prayers were offered in the campus.
‘People are brave. They stand on train tracks and take risks. This is Kashmir. Nothing will harm them by visiting it’
Promoting the tourism of J&K, Malik said, “People (in India) are brave. They stand on train tracks and take risk. This is Kashmir. Nothing will harm them by visiting it.”
He also said that he wants “Kashmiri kids to get coffee shops, cinemas, IPL team and everything of their convenience.”
Speaking about his experience of coming to Kashmir, he said, “It has been around 2 months since I joined as a Governor here. The phrase ‘If paradise is on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here’ brought with it an evil eye for Kashmir. Kashmir is what it was but the atmosphere is not,” he said adding, “We are trying to bring it back.”
“Zee TV Editor asked me for an interview. We did it while walking on the banks of Dal Lake without any security, commandos or arrangements. I am a Z-category security person. If I can travel without security, so can you,” he said, in context of promoting tourism in the valley.
‘As many people die in Patna in one day. That much casualty does not occur in Kashmir’
“As many people die in Patna in one day. That much casualty does not occur in Kashmir. In the elections, not even a sparrow was harmed this time. Earlier, 40 people would die during elections. In parliamentary elections in Kashmir, 9 people died. Now, the situation is changing,” he further said.
“The things Kashmir was infamous for are changing. The problem was never with Kashmiris. It initiated in Delhi. But, today as a representative from the government, tell you that Delhi is a friend of Kashmir,” he said adding that it wants Kashmiris to rule the valley and India.
“You should be happy as you even have a different flag and a different constitution,” he said sharing that one of the first issues he faced in Kashmir was his salary.
“My salary in Bihar was Rs 3.5 lacs while as here I was getting 1 lac and 10 thousand rupees. Till there is no constitutional amendment, my salary could not be changed. I was very worried. I spoke to senior officers to make some way and as per my last salary drawn, they restored my salary,” he said.
“If peace prevails and we walk together, nothing better can happen. The basic thing is how our hosts treat us. Kashmiris are and have been treating outsiders hospitably,” he concluded.