Former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik summoned by CBI, what’s the controversy all about?

Former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik summoned by CBI, what’s the controversy all about?

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reportedly summoned the former governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik on Friday. This summon by CBI is to provide information regarding an alleged Reliance insurance scam case.

Malik responded to the summons by telling the news agency PTI that the investigation agency had requested his appearance at its guesthouse on Akbar Road the next week. They want my attendance because they need some clarifications, he stated. They have the dates I am accessible from April 27 to 29, as I would be in Rajasthan during the period in question.

In an interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, the former governor stated that following the February 2019 Pulwama tragedy, in which 40 CRPF members were killed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged him to keep quiet about several alleged flaws he mentioned. The CBI summon came days after this interview of Satya Pal Malik.

The early backing of Satyapal Malik, for his remarks regarding the Pulwama incident by some khap and farmer leaders is now gaining ground in Haryana. The ex-governors' support groups planned khap panchayat in R K Puram on Saturday. Although it was called off after the Delhi police and RWA refused to allow it. Leaders of 36 illustrious khaps from Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana had called the panchayat.

Former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik summoned by CBI, what’s the controversy all about?
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Later, Malik posted a picture of himself in the police station saying, "I am currently sitting at RK Puram police station in Delhi. In a short while, the cops can take me to the Chhawla police station.”

Khap Pradhans and Malik, according to BKU leader Gurnam Singh Charuni, were allegedly "arrested" in R K Puram. "Like I had anticipated yesterday, the BJP might, given its nature, go after Satyapal Malik ji and soon he got CBI summons, because of the statements that he has made in support of the farmers."

In response to the accusations, DCP (Southwest) Manoj C stated, "We have not detained former governor Satyapal Malik." He arrived at RK Puram Police Station of his own will with supporters, and we have told him that he is free to go at any time.

The Mooknayak reached out to BKU leader Gurnam Singh Charuni’s son Arshpal Singh Charuni to know about the current detention of khap leaders to which he said, “Khap Panchayat leaders, members, and Kisan union members from Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh were called at RK Puram residence of the ex-governor Satya Pal Malik for a lunch meeting. Although leaders from Haryana could only reach for the meeting. They all were arrested by the Delhi Police and at first, they took them to Vasant Kunj Police station and later were taken to RK Puram.”

Not the first time to be summoned by CBI

Malik claimed in October 2021 that he received a Rs 300 crore bribe offer to settle two files while he was the governor of J&K. He didn't say what files those were, but one of them had to do with the contract the government had with Reliance General Insurance to provide health insurance for government workers. In October 2018, Malik canceled the agreement. The second issue dealt with civil construction for the Kiru Hydel Power Project.

Malik will appear before the CBI for the second time in relation to the case. The organization had earlier questioned him in October of last year.

What is the Reliance insurance scam case?

According to PTI, the CBI filed two FIRs in April of last year in response to allegations of corruption made by Malik regarding the awarding of contracts for civil work totaling Rs 2,200 crore related to the Kiru hydroelectric power project in Jammu and Kashmir and a group medical insurance plan for government employees.

According to the report, Malik had, however, canceled the company's deal when he was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir because "it was full of frauds."

In one of the two FIRs the CBI has filed, Reliance General Insurance Company and Trinity

Reinsurance Brokers Ltd have been named as defendants. According to the FIR, the allegations made by the UT administration "prima facie disclose that unknown officials of the Finance Department of the Government of J&K have committed the offenses of criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct by abusing their official position in conspiracy and connivance with Trinity Reinsurance Brokers Ltd, Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd, and other unknown public servants and private persons to cause pecuniary advantage to themselves and caused wrongful loss to the state exchequer during the period 2017 and 2018…”

At the time, the government issued tenders for group health insurance to government employees, but only one bid was accepted. Then, it paid Trinity, an insurance broker, to issue bids on its behalf. The bid was submitted by seven insurance providers, including Reliance, which ultimately won. The state government paid a premium of more than Rs 61 crore.

Malik raised a red flag, and the state's anti-corruption bureau and finance department looked into the situation.

What did Satya Pal Malik Reveal about Pulwama Attack?

Satya Pal Malik, the last governor of J&K before it was divided and given union territory status, said in an explosive interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, "I can safely say the PM has no real problem with corruption."

Malik, who served as governor during the devastating terrorist attack on soldiers in Pulwama in February 2019 and the repeal of Article 370 in August of that same year, claims the prime minister is "ill-informed" and "ignorant" about Kashmir.

Malik in The Wire interview has made charges about serious security, federalism, and high-level corruption issues. These statements have been made by a powerful individual, a BJP leader since 2005, and a man who was the governor of four states between 2017 and 2022.

Malik spoke extensively on the security flaws, safety protocol violations, and intelligence failings that contributed to the Pulwama terror attack on February 14, 2019, which resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF personnel. In the past more than four years, these issues have been conveniently ignored.

A seemingly incriminating accusation of the government was made by the former governor. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged him to be silent on the subject of shortcomings. He was frank in his assertion that the quiet was intended to turn the post-Pulwama narrative against Pakistan in order to gain political advantage. He claimed that the government withheld evidence so that it could be "used for something else" and that he had "realized that Pakistan is going to bear the entire burden."

Two years ago, a Frontline article made crucial points about how, starting on January 2, 2019, intelligence inputs about Pulwama were disregarded 11 times. Malik's accusations refocus attention on these reports.

According to Frontline's investigation, between January 2 and February 13, 2019, there were at least 11 intelligence indications that suggested a gruesome "Qisas (retribution) mission" was in the works. This mission eventually resulted in the attack on a security convoy in Lethpora, Pulwama. But none of these were heard by the government.

The government and the authorities were specifically aware that a terror attack could be launched in the direction of the security forces. The services were aware that four foreign mercenaries were working on a "major fidayeen attack in coming days" with Mudasir Ahmed Khan, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) terrorist group, who was eventually revealed as the Pulwama mastermind. Additionally, they knew that Mudasir Khan was visiting the villages of Midoora and Lam Tral.

Journalists, strategic experts, and government critics have all highlighted comparable concerns about corruption, and, security breaches. However, this time they came from a man who was close to the power circuits and had a constitutional position.

Former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik summoned by CBI, what’s the controversy all about?
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