Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu on Thursday said the Assembly election process in the newly created Union Territory would start soon.
“Elections will also come in the Union Territory. This is a Centrally ruled place, but it has a legislature as well. Do not think that it will continue as it is. An exercise to hold elections at the earliest will be held soon and you people will have a role in it,” Murmu said. He was addressing police personnel at the passing out parade of new recruits at Police Training Centre, Talwara, near Reasi.
Praising the police for fulfilling all responsibilities assigned to them, Murmu said, “This responsibility (of elections) will also be placed on their shoulders and they will have to play an important role in it.”
Referring to the recent snowfall in Kashmir, Murmu said that police have an important role in relief and rescue operations.
Murmu’s remarks — his first at a public event since assuming charge as Lt Governor of J&K —were made amid the continued detention of senior leaders of mainstream Opposition parties in Kashmir since the Centre decided to scrap special status and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir state into two UTs on August 5. Recently, Block Development Council elections were held, but Opposition parties did not participate in it.
Meanwhile, the Centre appointed retired IPS officer Farooq Khan and retired IAS officer K K Sharma as advisors to Murmu. Both Khan and Sharma were advisors to Satya Pal Malik, Governor of the erstwhile J&K state.
A former J&K police officer, Khan had joined the BJP in 2014 and last served as Lt Governor of Lakshadweep. Khan was added to Governor Malik’s advisory council only a month before the revocation of special status of the state of J&K. Hailing from Jammu, Khan was in 1994 part of the first team of J&K Police’s counter-insurgency force, the Special Operations Group. He retired from J&K Police as Inspector General of the force.
Sharma is a 1983-batch AGMUT cadre IAS officer. He has served as chief secretary of Delhi and Goa. He was also Union Secretary PWD in 2009 and was promoted as Principal Secretary PWD. He served as Secretary, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, before his retirement. — With ENS, Srinagar