Mehrishi scotches rumours of becoming next J&K Governor

NEW DELHI, Aug 30: Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi today scotched rumours that he would be the next Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, saying he would be going to his home town Jaipur tomorrow on his retirement.
“I will be going to Jaipur tomorrow noon,” he told reporters when asked whether there is a possibility of him becoming the next Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
He also said he has no information on the possibility of present Governor N N Vohra putting in his papers ahead of the completion of his second term a few months later.
Mehrishi, a 1978-batch Rajasthan cadre officer IAS officer, will demit office tomorrow.
He further said that the Government’s top law officer will help the Supreme Court with regard to the legal aspects of Article 35A of the Constitution under which special rights and privileges are granted to the “permanent residents” of the State.
“There are 4-5 cases on 35A in the Supreme Court. These are only legal issues. The Attorney General will help the Supreme Court,” Mehrishi said here.
The Supreme Court last month had asked the Centre to file a reply to a writ petition filed by an NGO seeking that Article 35A be struck down.
Mehrishi also said that talks with separatists in Jammu and Kashmir are a possibility but these have to take place without any conditions.
Mehrishi, also refused to blame the Haryana Government for its alleged failure in handling the law-and-order situation after the conviction of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief saying it was not proper to judge any situation sitting in Delhi as law and order is a “live and dynamic situation”.
On the possibility of talks with the separatists, he said Home Minister Rajnath Singh has made it clear “many, many times” that the central government was open for dialogue in Kashmir.
“We want to talk,” he said.
“I don’t think that any talks can take place with pre- conditions,” Mehrishi said while replying to a question on whether the Centre was inclined to hold talks with the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir without any conditions.
He said there was “no doubt” that Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir through various ways including funding militants.
“Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism, Pakistan is ensuring infiltration to Kashmir and Pakistan is funding terrorism in Kashmir,” he said.
Asked about the alleged alienation of Kashmiri youths, Mehrishi said alienation is a “concept of Delhi media” and the real issue for Kashmir is terrorism and radicalisation.
“Radicalisation and terrorism are the main issues, which we are dealing with. As one chief minister had said 95 per cent people in Kashmir want peace. The youths in Kashmir have the same aspiration, like any youth in rest of India, of good education, good job and a good life,” he said.
The home secretary said the probe conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the terror funding to Kashmiri separatists has its desired impact and it has been reflected in the activities of separatists and stone throwers.
Referring to the ongoing NIA probe on terror funding, he said the agency was carrying out a “free and fair” investigation and it will be taken into its logical conclusion.
“Action will be taken against all those who are found guilty as per law,” he said.
Asked to comment on the recent violence in Haryana after the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Mehrishi said law and order situation is “live and dynamic situation” where administration and police deal with human beings and only a person in the field can make an assessment about a situation on how to handle it.
“It is neither advisable nor possible and it is foolhardy to judge handling of a situation sitting here in Delhi,” he said.
“No officer wants a deterioration bad of law and order situation in his area. No chief minister wants deterioration of law and order his state,” he said.
Asked about the recent stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces in Dokalam and Ladakh, the home secretary said the Indo Tibetan Border Police, which comes under the home ministry, is not deployed in Dokalam but in Ladakh only.
“But stand-off like situation in Ladakh keep happening. There was no extra ordinary situation,” he said.
Asked about activities of alleged Hindu terrorism, he said terrorism should not be linked with any religion.
“Terrorism is terrorism. It should not be linked with any religion. No religion allows terrorism. Those who indulges in terrorism in the name of religion is only bringing bad name to religion,” he said.
The Union Home Secretary further said that the fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, is in Pakistan and that country is creating hurdles in getting him back to India to face the law here.
Mehrishi said the government is taking all required action so that Ibrahim could be brought back to India.
“Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan. That country has given him shelter. That country is also putting hurdles in bringing him back to India to face the law,” he said here.
The home secretary said the “attitude” of Pakistan was not in conformity with international law and it is working against India in Ibrahim’s case.
“Whatever action is required, we are taking. We will get him. The process is on. But the attitude of the Pakistan government is not in conformity with the international law. Pakistan is working against India. The legal process is on. We will get him at an opportune time,” he said.
Ibrahim is the main accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case in Mumbai in which around 260 people were killed, and more than 700 were injured.
He fled India post the bombings and is hiding in Pakistan at present.
In April, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had stated there was no doubt that Ibrahim was still in Pakistan. During the last 10 years, India has sent several dossiers to Pakistan in this regard, naming Ibrahim as the accused in the Mumbai blasts case.
In 2011, P Chidambaram, the then home minister in the UPA government, had also said that Ibrahim was based in Karachi. He had said that India would continue to push its case to bring to justice the people who had planned terror attacks in the country.
India has for long been advocating an extradition treaty between SAARC countries in order to ensure quick action against those involved in terrorist activities. Both India and Pakistan are members of SAARC. (Agencies)