No terrorist was given government jobs by the previous Jammu and Kashmir dispensation, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said Monday, asserting that his party would not support any policy to punish relatives of terrorists as it is against natural justice.
Interacting with reporters after addressing a public rally — his first in the city after the abrogation of Article 370 — Omar Abdullah also raised the issue of “misuse of police against the civilian population”.
“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.
He was responding to a question on Sinha’s recent allegations that previous governments in Jammu and Kashmir provided jobs to terrorists and their families and facilitated one lakh backdoor appointments.
“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.”
Accusing the Jammu and Kashmir administration of playing with the future of job aspirants by engaging a tainted company to conduct recruitment examinations, he said, “We want an inquiry how APTECH, which is blacklisted across the country, was given a contract and where the scams had taken place.”
“We heard the contract was cancelled but the youth are still not happy. You (L-G) need to reassure the youth,” the former chief minister said, alleging that the Jammu and Kashmir administration is not making any attempt to resolve the issues of the people.
About reports that the administration is going to conduct CID verification of all contractors, Omar said he had no such knowledge.
However, he alleged that this administration likes to misuse the police.
“Blacklisted companies are brought here but honest and efficient contractors are subjected to harassment. Attempts should be made to give contracts to those who are honest and who can work without giving or taking a commission. The extra-ordinary use of police against civilians is bad,” Omar Abdullah said.