Often dubbed as "people's governor" due to his easy accessibility to people, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has made "intense outreach" his new year's resolution. "Of course, it will be a year for reaching out to the people of J&K, particularly youths (of Kashmir). I opened the Raj Bhawan for the people of J&K when I assumed the office of the governor of the state," Malik told PTI in an interview. Malik made the remarks in reply to a query on his new year's resolution.
The governor said he would intensify his outreach to the people, particularly the youths of the valley and try to wean them away from the "vicious circle of terrorism and violence". "Our aim is not to kill militants. I want not even a single person (militant) be killed. We want them back to the mainstream," Malik said. "We want to create such a narrative that people do not get angry and take to guns. We are tightening the administration, so that there is no atrocity or injustice to any innocent person," the governor said.
He said the Army, police and security forces have been given clear directions to exercise restraint during encounters. The governor, however, sought to caution people against rushing to the encounter sites and hinder paramilitary forces operations against terrorists, saying if someone hurls a bomb or fires at the forces, they will be under compulsion to retort. "It is simple. Goli chalaogey to goli chalegi, koi guldasta to milega nahi (If you fire at someone, you will get back a bullet. You are not going to get a bouquet in return)," Malik said. Ahead of the two upcoming elections in 2019 - those for the Lok Sabha and the state assembly, Malik stressed upon the need to reach out to people, suggesting that all leaders should follow suit. "The political leaders should reach out to the public and tell them that they should not rush to the encounter sites to avoid causalities," he said.
Dwelling upon his outreach drive, Malik, who took over as the state governor on June 19, 2018, said he has met over 700 delegations and individuals from all three regions of the state - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, besides all religions. "He is the people's governor. He has kept the gates of Raj Bhawan open for one and all. This is our second visit to the governor for resolution of our problems. All our earlier problems have been resolved," the head of a delegation, visiting the Raj Bhawan from Kashmir, told PTI as this reporter waited for his turn to meet the governor. Lauding the governor's outreach drive, the Raj Bhawan officials told PTI that many a time visitors visit here after calling up the governor directly and fixing an appointment with him.
(With inputs from agencies.)