Ready to quit if militancy links proven, says Jammu and Kashmir Minister

Ready to quit if militancy links proven, says Jammu and Kashmir Minister

SRINAGAR (INDIA): Jammu and Kashmir minister Abdul Haq Khan today said he would resign from his post if allegations of him having links with militancy were proven.nnThe allegation against the state law minister was levelled by opposition National Conference MLAs Abdul Majid Bhat and Mohammad Akbar Lone in the state Assembly here.nnThe trouble started when the minister tried to interrupt Bhat from briefing Speaker Kavinder Gupta about the number of people injured in security forces action near the encounter site in Bijbehara yesterday.nnTwo civilians were killed and a militant was gunned down during the encounter between security forces and Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Anantnag district of south Kashmir. The encounter broke out at 10 AM at Arwani village in Bijbehara, 51 km from here, in which 10 other civilians were injured.nn”I am raising the issues of my people. You are an Ikhwani (government gunman), do not try to be the deputy chief minister and dictate me,” Bhat shot back at Khan.nnReacting to the allegation, the law minister said, “If it is proved that I had any links with militancy, I will resign.”nnAs Khan denied the charge against him, former speaker and NC MLA from Sonawari, Mohammad Akbar Lone asked the treasury benches, “Was he not a militant? Was he not a member of Al- Barq (militant outfit)?”nnSome members from the treasury benches then pointed towards Congress MLA from Bandipora, Usman Majeed, who is an Ikhwani-turned politician.nn”Yes I was (Ikhwani) and he (Khan) was too, but he is lying now,” Majeed said amidst the din in the House.nnPDP MLA from Chadoora, Javid Mir, in a bid to pacify the situation said, “You were a militant, he was a militant. Now both of you are in the mainstream.”nnIkhwan force, locally known as ‘naabedh’, was a pro-government militia in Jammu and Kashmir, composed of surrendered Kashmiri militants. The group helped the Indian security agencies to counter the militant groups operating in the Valley. The force was disbanded in 2003.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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