New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik courted a fresh controversy by saying that speaking for militants was a political compulsion for PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. The reaction came a day after Mufti had warned the Governor-led administration of dire consequences if families of militants were harassed by police.

Talking to the media, Governor Malik said, “I do not mind what Mehbooba has said because she is my friend’s daughter. But one thing is clear that speaking for militants is their compulsion in view of upcoming Assembly elections.”

The Governor said if anything wrong had happened anywhere he would order a high-level probe. “I will also direct IG Police, Kashmir to look into this incident to see whether the lady has been harassed or her clothes have been torn as is being alleged. If necessary, action will be taken against any police staff found acting wrongly,” he said.

“We have nothing personal against families of militants and strict instructions have been issued to the government forces to be careful during counter-insurgency operations,” Malik further said.

On Sunday after meeting the family member of the suspected militant, Mufti had said that she won’t allow bloodshed in the valley. Her remark came after report started coming that a suspected militant’s sister Rubina, her husband, and brother were brutally beaten up by station house officer (SHO).

Mufti, in the series of tweets, had lashed the Jammu and Kashmir police and urged the Governor to take action against the culprits.

“Questions harassment of militant families while traveling to the interiors in Pulwama, a day after the encounter. Won’t allow bloodshed and making South Kashmir a battleground,” Mufti had tweeted.

Notably, Jammu and Kashmir are under the president rule. Governor’s rule was imposed when the BJP withdrew its 25 legislators from its coalition with the PDP, reducing the latter to a minority. Due to the special status enjoyed of J-K, Article 356 cannot be invoked to impose President’s Rule. As per section 92 of J-K constitution, the state is placed under Governor’s rule for the first six months and it can be followed up with President’s rule after that, thus extending the Centre’s rule.

(With agency inputs)