Padma Shri for ex-militant

An ex-militant from J&K gets Padma Shri, state government says no clue how it happened

GN Bureau | February 2, 2010




It can't get murkier than this. This year's list of Padma awardees includes a surrendered Kashmiri militant against whom cases of extortion and attempted murder are pending.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Ghulam Mohammed Mir, has been honoured with a Padma Shri for public service. He runs a band-saw business in his native Magam in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and is widely known by the nickname Muma Kana.

The report says, the Jammu and Kashmir government took several days to trace the awardee. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he did not think that his government had recommended Mir for the Padma.

“I don’t remember recommending his name,” Omar told the national daily. “At times, there are individual recommendations or the government of India checks the credentials of a prospective awardee directly. I will check tomorrow,” the chief minister said on Monday.

Mir ran an illegal private militia in central Kashmir after surrendering before the security forces. Sources in the police said he was considered a major asset for the security establishment during the peak years of militancy, alongside Kuka Parray, Javaid Shah and Naba Azad.

This year's Padma list caused an uproar earlier because it included an NRI hotelier, Sant Singh Chatwal, who had been an accused in a bank fraud scam and the CBI had filed two chargesheets against him. He had even been arrested in connection with the case. A report in Indian Express had exposed how two CBI directors refused to file an appeal against Chatwal's acquittal by the special court, allowing him to go escape punishment.

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