V K Singh fails to appear before J&K House again

NIC wants non-bailable warrant issued against former Army chief

Former Army chief General (retd) V K Singh failed to appear before the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council for the second time on Wednesday in connection with his alleged remark that politicians in the state were paid by the Army.

The issue has snowballed into a major controversy, with the ruling National Conference (NC) demanding that a non-bailable warrant be issued against Singh, while the Congress questioned legality of the council’s privileges committee.

Sources told Deccan Herald that NC MLCs, led by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s trusted lieutenant Davender Singh Rana, also walked out of the proceedings of the committee.

Rana told reporters that during the proceedings of the committee, Congress MLC Ravinder Sharma called constitution of the committee illegal. “The committee was in operation for over one year. Why did Ravinder Sharma suddenly find it illegal?” he said.

 “We sought opinion of the law secretary. But the committee chairman preferred to refer the matter to the chairman of the council,” Rana said. “Me and my colleagues walked out of the meeting. We sought a non-bailable warrant against General Singh to present him before the House.”

The Legislative Council had re-issued a summon on Singh, asking him to appear before its privileges committee on January 22, after he failed to respond to its earlier notice.

A privilege motion against Singh was moved by NC MLCs Ajay Sadhotra, Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardy and Rana in the last session. They took cognizance of his allegation that since 1947, politicians in J&K were being paid by the Army and other intelligence agencies for “nationalistic work and maintaining peace in the state”.

“The Army transfers money to all ministers in Jammu and Kashmir because there are various things to be done and the ministers have to do so many things as part of the stabilising factor in the state and for organising various activities,” Singh had said while responding to allegations that state Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir was paid Rs 1.19 crore by the Technical Support Division, set up during his tenure, to topple the Omar Abdullah government in 2010.

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